There are plenty of great reasons to choose New Zealand as your next holiday destination. A lot of people see the postcards and the travel brochures with the pictures of Marlborough Sounds and simply can’t wait to get amongst the Kiwi scenery. Others hear about the adventure sports in Queenstown and the opportunities for rock climbing in Wharepapa and can’t wait to get their thrills. But, if you’re into sport and you follow rugby from anywhere around the world, you’ll know New Zealand for a different reason.
The All Blacks are our country’s pride and joy. Richie McCaw lead our boys to victory against France 8 – 7 in 2011 at the Rugby World Cup final – the second time that we have won the title since it began in 1987 – thrusting the New Zealand national rugby union team into the world spotlight once again.
If you are headed to the country and rugby is your game, there’s probably only one thing that you’re really keen on seeing while you’re here: an All Blacks game.
See the All Blacks play at Eden Park
Located in Auckland, the largest city in the country and the connecting destination for most international travellers, Eden Park is New Zealand’s largest stadium. Just three kilometres south of the CBD, Eden Park is close to inner-city hotels and a short distance if you feel like having dinner before a match or heading to a night on the town after the game.
In 2011 the upgraded stadium was home to both the semi finals (which were moved from Christchurch’s AMI Stadium because of the Canterbury earthquake of that year) and the final of the Rugby World Cup. This made Eden Park the first grounds to hold two Rugby World Cup finals, the first being the inaugural tournament of 1987.
Able to hold 47,500 fans during rugby matches, the stadium is prepared for huge numbers. The Rugby Championship is a new competition, coming into play in 2012 and consists of four teams; New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina. Each team will play their opponent twice – once in their own country and again in their opponents country. Booking tickets early is essential to ensure a good seat, particularly in a rugby stadium the size of Eden Park.
If you’re flying in for the match or even just for a holiday in Auckland, you can make getting around a whole lot easier by booking a car rental from Auckland Airport. It’s a big city and public transport can be expensive and unreliable – having your own means of transport is definitely a huge help.