If you’re one of the lucky fans who will be in Australia or New Zealand for the World Cup, consider our list of 14 top things to do in these countries that are sure to make this a memorable event.
- Sydney Harbour and Bondi Beach
The gorgeous Sydney Opera House and colossal Sydney Harbour Bridge are unmissable. The shimmering harbour may be the city’s most famous asset, but Sydney’s glorious beaches and nightlife are equally alluring. Bondi beach, a 20-minute drive away from Sydney, and probably one of the world’s great beaches gets packed with surfers, models, skate punks and backpackers surfing a hedonistic wave through the bars and restaurants along Campbell Parade. But the beach is a timeless constant.
Matches in Sydney Cricket Ground
8th March – Australia vs Sri Lanka
13th March – England vs Afghanistan
18th March – Quarter Final
19th March – South Africa vs West Indies on
26th March – Semi Final
- Wine tasting in Adelaide
Adelaide offers world class festivals, restaurants, pubs and a hedonistic arts scene. It is home to three world-famous wine regions – the Barossa Valley to the north, with its reds, old vines and German know-how; McLaren Vale to the south, a Mediterranean palette of sea, vines and shiraz; and the Clare Valley, known for riesling. Better-kept secrets are the cool-climate stunners from the Adelaide Hills and the cabernet sauvignon of the Coonawarra. All these are a day trip away.
Matches in Adelaide Oval:
9th March – England vs Bangladesh
15th February – India vs Pakistan on
15th March – Pakistan vs Ireland
March 20th – Quarter finals
- Great Ocean Road from Melbourne
After exploring Melbourne, make your way to the Great Ocean Road all the way to Port Campbell National Park, home to Twelve Apostles − rock formations jutting out of wild waters. This is one of the most scenic drives in Australia that takes you past world-class surfing breaks, through pockets of rainforest and calm seaside towns, and under koala-filled tree canopies.
Matches in Melbourne Cricket Ground:
14th February – England vs Australia
19th March – Quarter finals
22nd February – South Africa vs India
26th February – Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
29th March – Final match
- Gold Coast from Brisbane
Located about 80km from Brisbane is Gold Coast. It’s brash, trashy, hedonistic, and over-hyped, but if you’re looking for a party, bring it on! Beyond the fray is the beach – a gorgeous coastline of clean sand, warm water and peeling surf breaks. It’s also home to Australia’s biggest theme parks – Dreamworld, Sea World, Warner Bros Movie World, Wet’n’Wild and WhiteWater World.
Matches in The Gabba, Brisbane:
21st February – Australia vs Bangladesh
25th February – Ireland vs UAE
1st March – Pakistan vs Zimbabwe
- Museums and galleries, Canberra
Though Canberra is only a century old, Australia’s purpose-built capital has always been preoccupied with history. Its big draw-card is a portfolio of impressive museums and galleries that focus on recounting the national narrative. Institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Portrait Gallery and Australian War Memorial offer a fascinating insight into the country’s history and culture.
Matches in Manuka Oval:
18th February – Bangladesh vs Afghanistan
24th February – West Indies vs Zimbabwe
3rd March – South Africa vs Ireland
- Snorkelling and diving in Rottnest Island, Perth
Located about 19km offshore from Fremantle, this car-free, off-the-grid slice of paradise is ringed by secluded beaches and bays. Excellent visibility in the waters and coral reefs makes Rottnest a top spot for scuba diving and snorkelling. There are snorkel trails with underwater plaques at Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point.
Matches in WACA, Perth:
28th February – India vs UAE
4th March – Australia vs Afghanistan
6th March – India vs West Indies
- Mt Wellington, Hobart
Australia’s second-oldest city lies at the foothills of Mt Wellington. It peaks at 1270m, towering above Hobart. The view from the top is unbelievable! Don’t be deterred if its overcast – often the peak rises above cloud level and looks out over them. The 22km road to the top winds up from the city through thick temperate forest, opening out to lunar rockscapes at the summit.
Matches in Bellerive Oval:
7th March – Zimbabwe vs Ireland
11th March – Sri Lanka vs Scotland
14th March – Australia vs Scotland
8. Sky Tower, Auckland
Held in the embrace of two harbours and built on the remnants of extinct volcanoes, Auckland has good beaches and a thriving dining, drinking and live-music scene. While there are plenty of things to see and do here, the 328m long Sky Tower, southern hemisphere’s tallest structure, is a must. A lift takes you up to the observation decks in just 40 seconds. It’s best to visit at sunset. The Sky Tower is also home to the Sky- Walk and SkyJump.
Matches in Eden Park:
7th March – South Africa vs Pakistan
14th March – India vs Zimbabwe
28th February – Australia vs New Zealand
24th March – Semi Finals
9. Cable Car, Wellington
New Zealand’s capital is nestled between green hills and a harbour. Art-house cinemas, funky boutiques, hip bars, theatres and world-class restaurants can all be found here. One of the highlights of this city is the historic and famous red cable car that clanks up the steep slope from Lambton Quay to Kelburn. At the top is the Wellington Botanic Gardens, the Carter Observatory and a small cable car museum.
Matches in Wellington Regional Stadium:
20th February – England vs New Zealand
1st March – England vs Sri Lanks
12th March – South Africa vs UAE
21st March – Quarter Finals
10. Gondola ride, Christchurch
Christchurch offers many interesting activities but the best way to soak in the views of this city is to take a gondola. A 30-minute drive from the city brings you to Heathcote Valley, the base station for the gondola ride. Take a ride to the top of Mt Cavendish (500m) on this 945m cable car for wonderful views over the city, Lyttelton, Banks Peninsula and the Canterbury Plains. At the top there’s a lovely cafe. The Gondola trip up to the summit takes 10 minutes one way at normal speed.
Matches in Hagley Oval:
14th February – Sri Lanka vs New Zealand
21st February – Pakistan vs West Indies
23rd February – England vs Scotland
11. Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson
Just 90-minutes out of this city and you’ll be at Abel Tasman National Park. Here’s nature at its most seductive: lush green hills fringed with golden sandy coves. It is the quintessential postcard paradise, where you can put yourself in the picture assuming an endless number of poses: tramping, kayaking, swimming or sunbathing.
Matches in Saxton Oval:
February 16 – West Indies vs Ireland
19th February – Zimbabwe vs UAE
5th March – Bangladesh vs Scotland
12. Waitomo Caves, Hamilton
About an hour away from Hamilton are the Waitomo Caves. It is an astonishing maze of subterranean caves, canyons and rivers perforating the northern King Country limestone. Black-water rafting is the big lure here (like whitewater rafting but through a dark cave), plus glowworm grottoes, underground abseiling and more stalactites and stalagmites than you’ll ever see in one place again.
Matches in Seddon Park:
15th February – South Africa vs Zimbabwe
10th March – India vs Ireland
13th March – Bangladesh vs New Zealand
13. Skydiving near Napier
A sunny, city with the air of an affluent English seaside resort, Napier’s art-deco town centre is a magnet for architecture lovers. After exploring the town, drive 100km to Taupo, popularly known as the skydiving capital of the world. Taupo is a terrific spot to do it with the deep blue lake and snowcapped volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park providing epic, dizzying views. For most first-timer, a tandem skydive will help you make the leap. Tandem jumps involve training with a qualified instructor, then experiencing up to 45 seconds of free fall before your chute opens. The thrill is worth every dollar.
Matches in McLean Park:
4th March – Pakistan vs UAE
8th March – New Zealand vs Afghanistan
15th March – West Indies vs UAE
14. Railway station, Dunedin
This city is better known as ‘Edinburgh of the South’ and is proud of its Scottish heritage. The railway station, more than a century old, has mosaic tiles and stained glass windows and is one of the country’s most photographed buildings. For wildlife, head to the Otago Peninsula, where penguins, albatross, sea lions and seals are easily sighted.
Matches in University Oval:
17th February – New Zealand vs Scotland
22nd February – Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan
26th February – Afghanistan vs Scotland