Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A Splendid Summer of Cricket Awaits – How to Make the Most of the World Cup in Aotearoa

Ok, so we may not have quite won the Men’s T20 World Cup this week, but never fear sports fans – the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is coming this summer and we are HERE FOR IT.

Kiwi cricket fans are some of the most ardent supporters in the world – a recent study revealed 60% of us reckon we’re indeed the most passionate – so come March 4, we’ll all be backing the White Ferns as they bat and bowl for glory.

And with 31 incredible matches across 31 action-packed days, you can chase the sun and be there for all of the world-class action, with all the best cricket hotspots for a thrilling summer recommended by booking.com.

Auckland

Catch all the action from New Zealand’s national stadium with India v Australia on March 19 and New Zealand v England on March 20.  The perfect time of year for a mini-break in Auckland, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay. 

Eden Park is situated in the trendy suburb of Kingsland with plenty of great bars and hip cafes and restaurants should you fancy a drink and a bite before or after the game.  The Kingslander is an iconic pub that is made for sports fans, with massive screens, pool tables and darts, while Citizen Park boasts an impressive beer garden.  There are also some funky art stores and clothing shops, and the area has a vibrant, buzzy vibe.

Where to stay

Enjoy the finer things with a stay at The Convent Hotel in nearby Grey Lynn. The recently renovated former nunnery offers 22 cosy, character-filled rooms for two, three and even four people, making it perfect for a romantic weekend or a mates break away. On-site modern Italian restaurant Ada offers delicious fare while The House Bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a crisp beer or a glass of wine on the sun-drenched balcony and it’s just a 1km walk to Eden Park.

Hamilton

Head for Hamilton during March for a whole heap of matches! Seddon Park plays host to seven World Cup games, with New Zealand facing India on March 10 and then South Africa on March 17.

Satisfy your caffeine cravings at Rocket Coffee café and roastery where the espresso blend is roasted fresh each day and there are three or more single origin coffees available that change each week. For delicious cakes, gourmet breakfasts and fresh seasonal lunches try River Kitchen.

Where to stay

A stone’s throw from all the cricketing action is Central Park Gemini Apartments, a three-bedroom unit that sleeps up to seven, making it perfect for a group booking. This spotlessly clean, modern apartment offers a sophisticated and stylish contemporary living environment. Guests rated it 9.6 for location, and it is an easy walk to all amenities and the CBD.

Tauranga

Bay Oval in Tauranga will play host to seven World Cup matches, with New Zealand taking on the qualifier on March 4.

Make a day of it by hiking the Mount Maunganui Summit walk for epic views over both town and the ocean. Post hike, treat yourself to a plethora of gourmet options, from Vietnamese with a great vibe at Rice Rice Baby, to Mexican food with soul at Barrio Brothers, and amazing burgers, fried chicken and potato totters at Palace. 

Where to stay

For beachside accommodation at the foot of Mount Maunganui and directly opposite the golden beach, head to Oceanside Resort and Twin Towers. With a range of options from relaxed garden-side studios to three-bedroom apartments, there is something to suit everyone, with many rooms offering stunning views of the ocean or The Mount. Enjoy the sauna and two heated swimming pools, as well as bars, restaurants and shops all within easy striking distance. 

Wellington

The iconic Basin Reserve plays host to a bunch of fixtures, with New Zealand taking on Australia on March 13 as well as one of the semi-finals on March 30.

There’s a variety of activities on offer in the capital, and getting around this compact city is easy. If you haven’t been to the national museum Te Papa, it is well worth a visit, and so vast that it may take more than one trip! For some retail therapy, hit the ‘Golden Mile’, Wellington’s main shopping district, covering Willis Street and Lambton Quay. Then head to lively Cuba Street, Wellington’s most colourful street, for cafes and restaurants as well as record stores, bookshops, music venues and heritage architecture.

Where to stay

Overlooking the Cuban quarter and nestled between the scenic hills of Wellington, restaurants and theatres of Cuba Street, Grand Mercure Wellington features elegant guest rooms and suites and on-site Forage Kitchen & Bar, indoor heated swimming pool and sauna. The perfect base for your city cricket escape, just 10 minute walk from the bustling nightlife on Cuba Street and a seven minute Uber from the Basin Reserve.

Christchurch

Hagley Park is the place to see New Zealand take on the qualifier on March 26. It also hosts one of the semi-finals on March 31 and the final on April 3.

Take a trip around Christchurch’s evolving city centre on board a beautifully restored heritage tram, hopping on and off as you please to check out the sights, or try your hand at punting on the Avon River. Rehydrate at Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn, where an ever-changing blackboard  showcases more than 30 craft beers on offer, then head to Pizza Trap for Neapolitan pizzas made on hand-thrown sourdough bases. If you’re on a health kick, head to The Welder, a health and wellbeing complex that offers an urban oasis that is truly unique.

Where to stay

Centrally located in Christchurch, overlooking Hagley Park and the River Avon, The George is a luxurious 5-star boutique hotel. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has 52 stylish and comfortable guest rooms, and an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro, which serves contemporary cuisine and also offers al fresco dining on the terrace. Walk a short 15 minutes to Hagley Park South and you’ll be right amongst the action.

Dunedin

University Oval will host three games, including New Zealand’s match against the qualifier on March 7.

From edgy urban street art to adorable penguins, Dunedin is a region full of surprises. It’s one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere with gorgeous heritage buildings everywhere you look. Nowadays, these are filled with quirky cafes, boutiques and other attractions that will fill days of exploration.

Where to stay

Located in the heart of Dunedin, The Fable Dunedin is housed in a beautifully renovated and elegant Victorian-era building. The hotel’s cafe-style restaurant ‘The Press Club’ is open daily and offers delicious regional delights. The Fable Dunedin is just a short walk from the Octagon city centre and the many shops, restaurants and entertainment venues that the city has to offer – including a six minute Uber ride to the cricket stadium.

*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 1631 sport fans and travellers from India, Australia and New Zealand.

The Gift Guide Collection: The One Who Loves to Look Good

Welcome to our 2021 Gift Guide Collection! Over the next month we’ll be dropping a new gift guide every few days so you’ll never...

‘On the Outside I’ll Look Fine, But On the Inside I’m on Fire’ Invisible Illnesses: What It’s Like Living with Fibromyalgia

We’re putting the spotlight on Invisible Illnesses in this new series. Are you one of the many Kiwi women who suffers in silence?  In this...

Business Battles, Sleazy Blokes & an Accidental Destiny: NZ’s Most Inspiring Beauty Mogul & How She’s Overcome it All to Find Success

Dyslexia, sexism and good old-fashioned Tall Poppy Syndrome – Anna Ross has been through it all. Now, she’s on the edge of global success...

“You Don’t Have to Own a Home to be Financially Successful” – How to Make the Most of Your Money, Even if You Don’t...

She's one of the nation's top money experts and has been trusted by thousands to answer their financial questions from basic saving through to...