Feb 14 NZ v Sri Lanka, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Feb 16 West Indies v Ireland, Nelson
Feb 20 NZ v England, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Feb 28 NZ v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland
Get started in Christchurch
Cricket fans around the globe are already counting down to the 2015 World Cup – so why not take advantage of the event being staged in New Zealand and combine it with the motorhome adventure of a lifetime?
Our custom-designed itineraries incorporate stunning on-the-road routes with tournament fixtures, starting off with a 14-day road trip from the ruggedly breathtaking east coast of the South Island, to the eclectic, uniquely cosmopolitan and varied flavours of the 'City of Sails' on the North Island.
Valentine’s Day 2015 will surely take on a different dynamic from the norm in Christchurch, with Hagley Oval given the honour of hosting the Cup’s opening match, as the Kiwis take on the erratic, yet often mercurial Sri Lanka on Feb 14 (they were champions in 1996).
Look to arrive at the largest city in the South Island prior to the first ball at 11am, if not the night before. The Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park will cost $48 for one night (two people) at a powered site and is only a 10-minute drive from the ground. However, a cheaper option is the Woodend Beach Holiday Park, set in 55 acres of greenery and a virtual stone’s throw from the sea. Admittedly it’s around 30 minutes north of the CBD, but is a trip worth making.
Once you have taken in the newly redeveloped Oval and hopefully witnessed a memorable 100-over encounter, it’s time to think about leg two - and journey to the ‘sunniest region of New Zealand’ and one of the purest diamonds of Aotearoa: Nelson.
Scenic journey to majesties of the sea - Kaikoura
You have a day spare before your next game on February 16 and the essential rite of passage is the 180-km trip north to Kaikoura. Traversing the Canterbury plains, you can enjoy stunning mountainous scenery, with the Waipara region a worthy stop for its vineyards – remarkably there are 80 cool-climate wineries.
But it’s the wonders of nature that will take your breath away. The rugged coastline north of Oaro leads you into Kaikoura – and a whale-watching experience not to be missed. Book well in advance, as this two-and-a-half hour ticket is always in hot demand. From sperm whales to pods of dusky dolphins, there’s an 80% refund policy if you don’t get to see these one of these majesties of the ocean.
Undoubtedly invigorated, it’s time to get back on the road and travel 245km up to Nelson. Tiredness could obviously be a factor, so it could be time to just chill that Sunday night and there are a number of accommodation options. Tahuna Beach Holiday Park has powered and non-powered sites for $18 per person, with children aged four and under free. It was also voted winner of the 2010 Holiday Park Innovation Award. Slightly off the beaten track and more of a budget option is Takaka Camping and Cabins, with the stunning Lake Kilarney a welcome neighbour.
The carnival arrives in Nelson
Game two is a truly special David v Goliath clash. Not dissimilar to the importance of rugby in New Zealand, cricket is a religion in the West Indies. And while the team’s fortunes have fallen dramatically since the glory days of the 1970s and 80s, the Calypso kings and their supporters will bring an electric atmosphere to the Saxon Oval. And while you might be stumped to name an Irish cricketer, the team has qualified for the last two tournaments and should not be taken lightly.
But as a special sporting match-up, the West Indies v Ireland will be a carnival-like celebration in the most picturesque of surroundings.
With a few days until your Wellington cricketing experience, spoil yourself in Nelson. Renowned as a cultural hotspot, the World of Wearable Art & Classic Cars Museum ‘celebrates two distinctly different passions’. But the region’s true beauty is in its bottle – the wine to be exact.
Twenty-five boutique wineries encased in the plains and hills deliver world class Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, while the more aromatic potency of Riesling and Gewurtztraminer are also not forgotten - a vintage destination!
A capital of culture
Your journey to Wellington takes on a slightly different path, with a 90-minute drive to Picton and car ferry to the capital – five-and-a-half hours in total. But with the next game on February 20, you have plenty of time to reboot and recover. The Waterfront Motorhome Park is basically a parking lot and quite pricey for $50, but a number of travellers love the central location. And unlike the spots on your trip so far, Wellington has a busy CBD with a huge selection of bars, restaurants and nightlife options. Music and art are also key components of the capital landscape, so it’s nice to be within its heartbeat.
It would take up too many column inches to list all of my favourite attractions, so Mount Victoria, Te Papa Museum, The Weta Cave mini-museum (Lord of the Rings creative hub) and Cuba Street can help scratch the surface. A few days is essential.
Which leads you to February 20 and the Black Caps versus England at Westpac Stadium, Wellington. Regarded as New Zealand’s premier sporting arena, the Cake Tin has a 36,000 capacity and will be packed to the rafters for one of the most hotly anticipated games of the tournament.
You now have eight days to enjoy the North Island of New Zealand, which is ample time to really soak up its beautiful contrasts of landscape before the exciting climax – NZ v Australia.
Heaven in a bottle... or three!
Head north-east from Wellington to Martinborough, via Lower Hutt. It takes just over an hour and is 35km from Masterton. Put simply, Martinborough is wine nirvana. Throw in stunning restaurants and you have an unspoiled gem of New Zealand.
There are 30 local vineyards which you can stroll around, with a number of tours also on offer. The quaint village square is home to a selection of cafes and boutique eateries, meaning you will probably want to park up your motorhome for the evening.
The Top 10 Holiday Park has power sites and a good reputation.
After a good night’s sleep, your venture north continues, as you set your sights on Napier. At just over three hours, it’s well worth travelling at cruise speed, stopping at the numerous landmarks on the way. Located between Mt Bruce and Eketahuna is the Pukaha National Wildlife Centre, offering guided tours and talks, plus the opportunity to feed iconic birds, eels and Tuatara. Check online for more details at www.pukaha.org.nz.
After the Tararua Windfarm and unique shopping opportunities at Woodville, you will eventually arrive at Hastings. You are just 20km away from the port city of Napier, but you have to indulge the great produce of Hastings – it’s the ‘Fruit Bowl of New Zealand’. The unique Art Deco structures are a result of a massive earthquake in 1931, creating a fascinating CBD. You can go strolling around Te Mata Peak, while an overnight trek is for those with a greater sense of adventure. Fishing, mountain biking and all things outdoorsy are on your doorstep.
Napier - a breath of fresh air
You may require a couple of days to take in the stunning region of Napier, right on the Hawke’s Bay coast - a major tourism hot-spot. A particular highlight is Cape Kidnappers. Just 20km from the centre of Napier, its golf course may be a touch expensive for the motorhome traveller, but the headland is blessed with a DOC Gannet Reserve and stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
Back in Napier you have Marineland, the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery and a gorgeous historic walk around Otatara Pa. And due to its huge tourism trade, accommodation options are plentiful. Kennedy Park Resort has modern communal facilities, while the smaller Napier Beach Kiwi Holiday Park also has powered sites. There are also numerous other holiday parks and camping grounds.
Taking a jump into Taupo
The only way is up from here, as you take the 140km journey to Taupo. Rotorua is further along the highway, so this heart of the North Island has plenty to see and do. Located on a gorgeous lake, here are some must-dos for the Taupo region:
Huka Falls are waterfalls on the Waikato River – breathtaking and soothing in equal measure.
Lake Taupo presents a fantastic cycling route, mountain views, kayaking and fishing.
Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage Area.
There are also sky-diving and bungee opportunities for everyone!
You're probably exhausted at this point, so rest up at one of the many Taupo holiday parks. There’s Motutere, All Seasons, and numerous other options.
Just an hour away is Rotorua – the home of geothermal spas, rivers and forests, Agroventures Adventure Park, Skyline Rotorua, Canopy Tours and so much more. Literally too much to list here… but this region is a world away from the hustle and bustle of major cities, such as Auckland and Wellington, with the emphasis on space and fun activities. The atmosphere is very different and truly reflective of the Kiwi outlook on life.
Go the Black Caps
The final, epic encounter of your Cricket World Cup trip is at 2pm on Saturday February 28, so you probably want to make your way to Auckland the night before, to give yourself time to soak up the atmosphere and find the right spot to park up. The journey is a quite considerable three hours.
Motorhome camping spots are few and far between in central Auckland. You may need to look further afield, such as the North Shore, then take public transport to Mt Eden Stadium.
The scene of many sporting glories, it will welcome the classic ANZAC clash of the Black Caps v Australia. And not only will you be ready to enjoy another cricketing treat, you will have taken in the full glory of New Zealand.
Check out more great itineraries for a Cricket World Cup road trip, as well as our Motorohme Republic CWC guide HERE