Big-tipping prince visits Queenstown

A big-tipping Arabian prince who flew into Queenstown on his private jet left big smiles on the faces of those who found themselves on the receiving end of his generous tips.

Sources told The Southland Times he had been very generous, tipping up to €1000 (NZ$1565) to those who helped him during his stay.

"All tips were in euro so they were quite big sums."

The prince and his entourage of up to eight, believed to be members of his extended family, arrived at Queenstown Airport on November 11 on his 2010 model Embraer ERJ-190 twin jet, which is registered in the United Arab Emirates.

The party is believed to have stayed at Queenstown's five-star Sofitel Hotel but staff wouldn't comment when contacted yesterday.

The prince's jet left Queenstown on Thursday for Brisbane before flying on to Singapore.

It is understood about half the group left, while he remained in Queenstown until Friday.

Sir Peter Jackson's Gulfstream jet, understood to have been chartered to fly the rest of the group out, left Queenstown about 6pm on Friday bound for Sydney.

The Southland Times