Prince Charles met the royalty of Hollywood on his tour of the movie wizardry conjured at Weta Workshop, guided by multiple Oscar-winners Sir Richard Taylor and Sir Peter Jackson.

"Oh my, goodness gracious me," he exclaimed as he as he walked into the makeup room.

The heir to the throne visited the Miramar facility on Wednesday afternoon, where he was even treated to a sneak snippet of the first film of the Hobbit trilogy.

He watched as actor Peter Hambleton, who plays Gloin, one of 13 dwarves in the yet-to-be-released movie, had prosthetics and makeup applied and apologised to him for having to go through it on his account.

"You are quite a way under all this," the prince said, to which Hambleton replied, "Yes, I'm actually good looking".

A crowd of people thronged outside the Miramar movie studios, hoping to catch a glimpse of the prince.

Meanwhile, well-wishers sang Happy Birthday to Prince Charles as he and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, went walkabout on the Wellington waterfront.

They arrived to cheers from the crowd of about 500 and many couldn't resist bursting into song to mark the prince's 64th birthday on Wednesday.

Under blue skies, and accompanied by mayor Celia Wade-Brown, the royals stopped to shake hands and chat with members of the public.

Many of those who couldn't get a spot up close stood on the balconies of nearby buildings in the hope of catching a glimpse of the couple.

Earlier, the prince and duchess received their official Diamond Jubilee welcome ceremony at Government House, hosted by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.

Camilla was wearing a patterned camel-coloured Anna Valentine jacket with a slip dress and a Phillip Treacy hat with an upturned brim.

At the conclusion of the powhiri, a stirring haka performed by local school pupils echoed across the expansive lawn.

A 21-gun salute was fired and a Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 did a flyover.

The prince was presented with the New Zealand Armed Forces Award by defence force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and the couple opened a new visitor centre at Government House.

But the day's highlight will no doubt be the prince's birthday party later at Government House, where he'll mark the milestone with 64 Kiwis who share the same birth date.

NZ Newswire

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