World Cup One Big Carnival
Former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick recommends his favourite haunts ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup, which he says “will be not so much a sporting event as a national carnival.” Take, for instance, the number of festivals that have been rescheduled in order to coincide with the tournament. “There’s so much going on, things that normally take place at other times are happening at the same time as the World Cup. Food festivals, wine festivals, arts, music … One of the things fans really enjoyed when the British & Irish Lions were here a few years back was to take a camper van and go and explore,” he says. “When I was a kid, we spent our summers in the Bay of Islands; it’s only three hours’ drive from Auckland and I believe it’s the most beautiful spot in the world.” Fitzpatrick’s top five must-dos are playing a round of golf; whale watching in Kaikoura; wine-tasting in Marlborough; scaring yourself in Queenstown; and tramping the Milford Track or Abel Tasman.