London, November 03 (ANI): Britain's Prince William is to make his first official overseas visit on behalf of the Queen when he travels to New Zealand early in 2010.
The Buckingham Palace has announced that the second in line to the throne will make the visit for the opening of the country's new Supreme Court on behalf of the Queen.
He had last visited New Zealand in 2005 to watch the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.
Even then he had represented the Queen by laying a poppy wreath at the Wellington National War Memorial.
However, next year's trip will be looked at as his first full formal visit.
Also, William will head from New Zealand to Australia for a short unofficial visit to carry out engagements in Sydney and Melbourne.
His tour agenda includes learning more about the nation's Aborigines and visiting the sites around Melbourne where more than 170 people had died in a bushfire, earlier this year.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has released a statement saying that Prince William has made a request to visit the country.
"The visit originated from a request to the Government of Australia by Prince William to visit the country so as to begin to get to know Australia and its people," Timesonline quoted him as stating.
He added: "During his visit, Prince William will focus on his core interests of supporting servicemen and women, helping young people fulfil their potential, and sustainable development in the light of climate change.
"The Prince will also use the visit to learn more about local indigenous issues and visit the bushfire-ravaged countryside in Victoria.
"Prince William will have the opportunity to meet a cross-section of Australians involved in a variety of projects of interest in oth Sydney and Melbourne." (ANI)