There’s only about a month to go until the world’s best cricket teams descend on Australia and New Zealand for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Naturally, I’ll be cheering on the Kiwis – who aren’t actually looking too bad in the lead up to the competition. And I’m fortunate enough to have snagged tickets to two matches at Auckland’s Eden Park: Australia vs New Zealand, and South Africa vs Pakistan.
I’m very excited. It’s been more than 20 years since Australia and New Zealand last hosted the Cricket World Cup in 1992 – I was just a kid when eventual-champions Pakistan knocked New Zealand out of the semi final, and Kiwi batting legend Martin Crowe was named the player of the tournament.
Preparations are already well underway in both host countries for what will surely be another awesome event. If you’re lucky enough to be travelling to Australia or New Zealand for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, you can look forward to visiting some of these host cities…
Australia is a perennial world cricketing super power, having won the Cricket World Cup four times – more than any other country. With home ground advantage at these host cities, don’t be too surprised if they win it all again in 2015.
In Adelaide, you’ll be able to enjoy sandy swimming beaches, stylish architecture and thriving nightlife. Not to mention some world-class cricket. Adelaide is set to host four matches, including heavyweights India vs Pakistan, as well as a quarter final.
I’ve visited Brisbane (pictured above) twice before. Although it’s not my favourite city in the world, it’s definitely not a bad place to visit. If the weather’s good – and let’s hope it is for the sake of the cricket – you should check out Brisbane’s Streets Beach.
Canberra is the capital city of Australia, so you might like to check out its national monuments and museums. If you enjoy the outdoors, you should go for a bush walk or hang out around Lake Burley Griffin.
Hobart is another Australian capital, this time of Tasmania – that little island that hangs down under the Australian mainland. This small city of 250,000 is set to host three Cricket World Cup matches, the most interesting being between Zimbabwe and Ireland (not cricketing super powers by any means, but this could be a close one!).
Melbourne is a great city to visit for a big sporting tournament. This vibrant city of sport boasts a ton of cultural attractions, but the cricket matches here are set to be riveting. England will take on arch rivals Australia, South Africa will face off against India, and the final of the Cricket World Cup 2015 is also set to be played at the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (above).
In-between Perth’s three World Cup matches at the WACA, visitors should take a boat cruise on the city’s Swan River, visit the zoo or, even better, sample the produce of some of the Swan Valley’s more than 40 vineyards.
I’ve already written about the top 5 things to do in Sydney, but suffice it to say that you shouldn’t ever be bored in Sydney. The city is set to host four matches, including a quarter final. South Africa vs West Indies could be an interesting one, and Australia vs Sri Lanka could be a potential banana-skin match for the much-fancied Aussie team.
Buoyed by some excellent recent performances, New Zealand will be one of the teams to watch at the Cricket World Cup 2015. Capable of beating any team on their day, the Black Caps are serious contenders in this year’s tournament and will be looking to do better than their two previous semi-final appearances in front of home support.
My current home town. Auckland (pictured above) is New Zealand’s largest city by far, and boasts a ton of terrific things for tourists to do. Check out the view from the Sky Tower (the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere) or, even better, sail over to Waiheke Island and do some wine tasting. The city will host four matches (I’ll be going to two of them), including a semi final.
As well as being the capital city, Wellington is New Zealand’s Windy City. Here’s hoping the weather is good when the Cricket World Cup rolls into town. I’ve already blogged about what you should see and do during a weekend in Wellington. On the pitch, you’re not going to want to miss New Zealand vs England.
Landlocked Hamilton isn’t New Zealand’s most exciting city. Nevertheless, if you’re up for a big night, you’ll find Hamilton has a fairly vibrant nightlife. For something a bit tamer, you should go for a cruise on a paddle-steamer down the mighty Waikato River.
Napier is situated in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island. So if you’ve got time, you really should get out of town and go exploring. The city itself is pretty cool, though, with art deco buildings and some excellent cafes.
Nelson is an interesting host city for a Cricket World Cup match. The sunny city near the top of the South Island doesn’t get a heck of a lot of top-class cricket, so you can expect the locals to embrace the occasion. There are heaps to do in the Nelson region – at the top of my list would be a visit to all the craft beer breweries in the area.
The “Edinburgh of the South” is a student town, so you can expect a pretty rowdy night out if you are so inclined. For something really different, go for a walk up Baldwin Street – the steepest street in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
The opening match of the Cricket World Cup is set to take place in Christchurch’s brand-new Hagley Oval (see the above image), a purpose-built venue that’s been erected in the wake of the deadly Christchurch earthquake of 2011. That quake resulted in the loss of more than 180 lives and devastated much of the central city.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Christchurch remains a fantastic place to visit, and the cricket is sure to be awesome – as it will be at all of these Cricket World Cup 2015 host cities.