The best places to see rugby in New Zealand (Part 1)

Rugby is a game that combines local crowds, whether it’s international, national or community level.

If you are eager to watch a match, here are some of the country’s best venues.

Eden Park (Auckland)

New Zealand’s largest stadium, Eden Park, is famous for a number of national landmarks. It hosted the opening matches for the 1987 Rugby World Cup (RWC) as well as the 2011 RWC Final – both of which saw New Zealand winning. The stadium, which hosts 50,000 spectators, also hosted iconic sporting moments such as the Empire Empire Games 1950, the 1992 and 2015 World Cup Cricket, and the controversial Springbok Rugby League in 1981.

Canterbury vs Wellington ITM Cup Game at AMI Stadium | © BigBadaboom0/Flickr

Westpac Stadium (Wellington)

Affectionately referred to by the locals as Cake Banh Tin, Wellington West Westpac Stadium provides regular national and international rugby squad. The riverside venue was opened in 1999 to replace the old Athletics Park – where its capital is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful rugby fields. Westpac Stadium has become the home of New Zealand’s only professional soccer team, Wellington Phoenix, as well as hosting a variety of sporting and cultural events throughout the year.

Waikato FMG Stadium (Hamilton)

Offering a unique experience for the audience, Waikato is a dairy farming area with over 10,000 registered rugby players. Mooloo has become the local nickname for FMG Stadium, Waikato, rugby team and supporters. It is not uncommon for crowds to swing cow bells during a match, and for a pantomime cow to graze often.

AMI Stadium (Christchurch)

The home of the Super Crusaders Rugby Team, AMI Stadium can accommodate more than 18,000 supporters and sits right next to the picturesque Hagley Park. This sports venue is especially known for its energetic atmosphere, as well as holding regular matches with Australia and New Zealand teams – meaning you can catch a match almost every last week.

Forsyth Barr Stadium (Dunedin)

Forsyth Barr is New Zealand, the only rugged rugby area – ideal for watching any kind of sporting event year round, rain or shine. The stadium, with a capacity of 30,000 seats, is home to the Superers Super Rugby Team, as well as hosting a number of All Blacks matches, and various non-sporting events. Dunedin is a student town, so the venue is always filled with the same spirit as the party.