Rugby World Cup 2011

New Zealand is currently holding the biggest international event it has ever held – the Rugby World Cup. The tournament kicked off at Eden Park in Auckland on 9 September 2011; the final match will be played in the same venue on 23 October 2011.

The country, which has been billed as a ‘stadium of four million’, has planned a six-week celebration. Games are scheduled in 12 different locations, and there is a nation-wide festival running alongside the tournament.

Demand for accommodation, especially in Auckland for the semi-finals and finals, will be stretched to an all-time high. Concierge NZ can still source high quality accommodation during the tournament, along with all your other Rugby World Cup needs, including transport and tailor made itineraries for non-game days. We offer exclusive experiences that you won’t see anywhere else - like playing a round of golf with an All Black legend.

But don’t make your visit just about rugby. For the duration of the Rugby World Cup, the Real New Zealand Festival will give you a reason to ‘take the long way round’ and experience the whole country as you follow your favourite team.

The festival encompasses around a thousand regional events in urban and rural locations, showcasing New Zealand’s arts, food and wine, heritage, culture, and lifestyle. Everything from a performance by world renowned opera diva Dame Kiri te Kanawa, to quirky regional food festivals like the Great West Coast Whitebait Challenge.

Twelve towns and cities

Twelve towns and cities throughout New Zealand will host matches during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The geographical spread ranges from Whangarei in the top of the North Island to Invercargill at the bottom of the South Island. Here’s a taste of what each offers, from north to south:

 

Whangarei: Halfway between Auckland and New Zealand’s northern tip – Whangarei is the gateway to New Zealand’s far north, the birthplace of the modern nation with a rich Maori and early European heritage. This narrow stretch of land is surrounded by unspoiled coastline – and we can organise the perfect boat charter for you.

North Shore City: New Zealand’s fourth largest city is a ferry ride or quick drive over the harbour bridge from Auckland’s downtown area. This vibrant city inhabits an ancient volcanic landscape fringed by sandy beaches with spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf and its islands.

Let us book you into our favourite beach café, where you can enjoy the views of Rangitoto, a dormant volcano in the middle of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland City: Auckland’s big city blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern downtown has created a unique urban outdoors lifestyle. Natural assets make it a great destination for land and water activities - from bungy to sailing, casino to wildlife experiences, food and wine. If you want to get away from it all, you can’t beat Waiheke Island, and we can give you a private tour of its many wineries and art galleries.

Hamilton: The bustling commercial centre of the lush Waikato farming region is a fast-growing university city on the banks of the mighty Waikato River. The Waikato is home to the Maori royal family, the Hobbiton film set, one of New Zealand’s best surf breaks, and the vast Waitomo cave system. If you are keen to explore this underground world, we can organise a tour with as much, or as little, adrenaline as you would like.

 

Rotorua: This natural thermal wonderland is one of New Zealand’s Maori heartlands. Its bubbling mud pools and steaming geothermal fields make it an adventure, cultural, and spa destination like no other. Soak in a geothermal hot spring and unwind with one of the many spa experiences we can offer.

New Plymouth: Beneath snow-capped Mount Taranaki, and overlooking the wild Tasman Sea, New Plymouth offers a vibrant creative and cultural scene,  award-winning gardens, and plenty of outdoor adventure. And if you are keen to learn about Maori myths and legends, we work with local Maori guides.

Napier: This town is famed for its extensive collection of Art Deco architecture and is the centre of Hawke’s Bay wine country. With its sunny, Mediterranean-style climate, Hawke’s Bay is also known for its artisan gourmet foods, glorious beaches, and rugged Cape Kidnappers gannet colony. The region is New Zealand’s leading producer of red wine - and we offer private wine tours and opportunities to meet the winemakers.

 

Palmerston North: On the banks of the Manawatu River, Palmerston North has the world’s first dedicated rugby museum - a must-see destination for rugby fans. Between mountains and the sea, this university town is also the stepping off point for many authentic New Zealand experiences. Interested in New Zealand rural life? Let us organise a luxury farm stay for you.

Wellington: New Zealand’s capital city - a vibrant mix of lively cafés and restaurants, boutique shopping, heritage buildings, museums and galleries, and entertainment venues. Nestled between harbour and hills, the city also boasts a world famous wildlife sanctuary, easy access to outdoor activities and an enthusiastic sporting culture. We can organise private food tours, art tours, and shopping tours.

Nelson: A sunny pocket paradise in the northern South Island, Nelson is home to many of New Zealand’s best artists and craftspeople. Artistic works are often inspired by the region’s luscious coastal, forest and valley landscapes. Food, wine and some of New Zealand’s finest walking tracks are also part of the Nelson experience we can offer you – all packaged together in luxurious style.

Dunedin: Strong Scottish heritage is a unique part of this southern city’s charm. One of the world’s best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities, Dunedin is also incredible for its local wildlife - the world's rarest penguins, an albatross colony, fur seals and sea lions. Get up close and personal with one of the many eco experiences we can arrange.

Invercargill: This well preserved little city serves up its own special brand of ‘southern hospitality’ to visitors who make it to New Zealand’s deep south. It’s famous for its Bluff oyster – we promise we can get you some - and two of New Zealand’s most spectacular ecological marvels in Stewart Island and the Catlins Coast.

More Info

www.rugbyworldcup.com
www.newzealand.com/travel/rugby
www.realnzfestival.co.nz