The Lions captain smiled, waved and signed autographs as he walked first through the exit door at Auckland airport to be greeted by over a hundred cheering and chanting supporters.
Head coach Sir Clive Woodward declared his side are "ready for the challenge" and O'Driscoll emphasised the point in emphatic terms.
"I feel a great sense of excitement now we have arrived in New Zealand. New Zealand is one of the great rugby nations and it is a tremendous honour for me to be standing here as captain of a touring British & Irish Lions team," said the Irishman.
"I look at some of the players around me and it makes me very proud to lead them. When we take the field everyone understands the passion of New Zealand rugby. We will respect all of our opponents, but we will not fear them.
"We realise if we train well, prepare well and play well, we can win. That's the challenge at hand and it's a challenge we are looking forward to."