Travelling for Rugby
Every four years, rugby fans have the fantastic opportunity to travel the world and watch their favourite rugby team play live at the biggest stadiums in the world.
To be precise, the recent Rugby World Cup in 2019 brought approximately 1,024,000 rugby fans to Japan from overseas.
In comparison, the Rugby World Cup in 2015 which was hosted in the United Kingdom, delivered just over 460,000 overseas rugby fans. It might be safe to say that the number of rugby fans is growing each and every year, with a combined interest for world rugby travel.
Let us have a look at one of the most famous rugby countries in the world, New Zealand.
Travelling to New Zealand for Rugby
In 2011, New Zealand hosted the Rugby World Cup. Although the vast majority of games were played in the more populated North Island, the South Island has plenty to appeal to visiting rugby fans.
In addition to the excellent rugby action going on in world-class stadiums all over the South Island, there are many more sights to see and things to experience. From Christchurch to Queenstown and beyond, there are many areas of interest.
Nelson Rugby Club in New Zealand
A small city in the north of the island. Areas of interest around Nelson include the city’s historical churches as well as the pier at Mapua, as well as the regions many wineries and gardens.
History of the Nelson Rugby Club in New Zealand goes as far back as the 1860s when the Rugby club was founded in 1868. Since then we have seen several rugby clubs combine powers to become one solitary Nelson Rugby Club.
You can read more about their history on the Nelson Rugby Club’s website.
Christchurch Rugby Club
New Zealand’s second largest city. Although the official Christchurch Stadium only has room for 25,000 rugby spectators, if travelling for rugby, the games played here have never been disappointing, and visitors can expect the highest class of rugby to be played.
Aside from the massive rugby stadium, Christchurch offers incredible sightseeing locations.
Historic stone buildings and well-manicured gardens give Christchurch its nickname of New Zealand’s Garden City. The old tram system connected the inner city is something everyone visiting the city should experience at least once.
Attractions include the Botanical Gardens, various spring events in Hagley Park, the International Antarctic Center, Port Hills, Lyttleton Harbour and the French settlement at Akaroa.
Furthermore, Christchurch is also home to wildlife parks like the Orana Park where animals roam freely as visitors drive among them.
Dunedin Rugby Club
Home to one of New Zealand’s newest stadium, the Dunedin could be a top South Island hub for the next Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Formally opened in August 2011, the brand new Otago Stadium (also known as Forsyth Barr Stadium) is a fully covered multipurpose venue that hosted four Rugby World Cup games.
Fun things to see and do in Dunedin include a trip to the Otago Peninsula, a tour of the Albatross Colony or Larnach Castle. Chocolate lovers in the area will also want to check out the local Cadbury Chocolate Factory.
Invercargill Rugby Club
A small city on the southern tip of the South Island, Invercargill hosted three group games in the World Cup.
One hundred seventy-five kilometres from Dunedin, Invercargill has many attractions for tourists. Wildlife lovers should visit Porpoise Bay to see rare Hector’s dolphins. Or alternatively, go to Nugget Point to observe sea-lions, seals, penguins, gannets and other animals in the wild.
Queenstown Rugby Club
The jewel of the South Island, Queenstown is a resort town with no shortage of activities and fun. Perhaps one of the nicest places in New Zealand for world rugby travel.
Although Queenstown was never a host to any World Cup games, the city is a short two and a half-hour drive from Invercargill or a three-hour drive from Dunedin.
The travel time is well worth it, however. Queenstown offers a wealth of exciting outdoor activities ranging from bungy jumping, hiking, jet boating and white water rafting in the summer and to skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
Other delights in Queenstown include wine-tours of the surrounding vineyards, tours of the Lord of the Ring shooting locations, and 4WD tours of the pristine, rugged countryside.
Travelling New Zealand for Rugby
As we can see, the South Island of New Zealand has some very interesting rugby venues you can visit.
With a small car journey, you can potentially travel all of the New Zealand rugby clubs in the South Island as every place offers a new experience for every rugby enthusiast.
New Zealand is probably one of the best places in the world for rugby travel as it is home to the infamous All Blacks. As nice as it would be to visit the stadium of the All Blacks in Auckland, it is always great to travel some of the less popular rugby venues, to see where the history of rugby really started.
Nonetheless, New Zealand is an excellent country to visit for Rugby. However, if you are travelling in order to play rugby at one of these clubs, make sure you get your training started. As the only thing you can expect from these rugby clubs is an incredible high class of rugby.
You can also read here on how to better prepare yourself for rugby with our top notch Rugby training program!