Julia McCarthy-Fox, 57, made an 11,600-mile trip to say her goodbyes in person to the Queen, ahead of Monday’s funeral.
Since arriving back on British soil she has set up camp on The Mall where she witnessed the Queen arriving back at Buckingham Palace for the final time.
Ms McCarthy-Fox, who moved to New Zealand from Horsham in West Sussex in 2019, said: "It was quite odd when she arrived, but it was very moving, as her coffin was lit up like a spotlight as the hearse arrived in the dark and rain.
"I think the reality really hit me when I saw the car, it was very emotional."
Ms McCarthy-Fox then joined the long queue to see her lying-in state.
She said she was well prepared for the long wait, adding: "I have packed lots of chocolate so I will be living off that."
Watch: Mourners shed tears as they bid farewell to the Queen
She will stay in London for the funeral and is preparing to get up 3am to get a good spot before flying back to New Zealand on 27 September.
She said: "While it has been hard and frustrating at times I am so glad I have come.
"I would have regretted it if I didn’t."
The Queen will lie in state until Monday morning, shortly before the state funeral takes place.
Thousands of mourners are continuing to join the queue to see the Queen’s coffin, with some people reporting waiting for nine hours before entering Westminster Hall.