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Major Events in New Zealand

New Zealand has gained a reputation for being a world class host for international sporting and cultural events. The Rugby World Cup 2011 brought thousands of visitors here to experience the second biggest sporting event on Earth. New facilities were constructed, public transport extended and upgraded, and hundreds of new businesses focused on serving visitors sprouted up. New Zealand is now, well and truly, up there with the best host countries.

Major Event Calendar

The following international events are scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand:

Lions Tour 2017

A Lions Tour to New Zealand only happens every 12 years. It is a highlight on the global rugby calendar and New Zealand is a favourite destination. Seven New Zealand cities will host the British & Irish Lions in 2017, featuring the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The best way to do the Lions series, which spans almost six weeks, is to rent a Wilderness motorhome and follow your team across New Zealand. See our suggested itinerary here.

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Rugby League World Cup 2017

With New Zealand co-hosting the Rugby League World Cup in 2017, along with Australia and Papua New Guinea, this tournament is said to be a pinnacle event that’s not to be missed in international Rugby League. Over a span of five exciting weeks (from 26 October to 2 December), the Rugby League World Cup will see 14 teams play 28 games to compete for one of the most sought after prizes - The Paul Barriere Trophy. Not only does the event celebrate New Zealand’s most popular sport, but also the diversity of cultures and countries of the tournament’s players and fans around the world.

Logo of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup

Local Event Calendar

Here's a sample of local events that are happening around the different regions of New Zealand:

Geraldine Ukefest 2017

For three days (July 6 - 9), the town of Geraldine in South Canterbury, will be humming with the sweet tune of ukuleles. Come along and listen to a great lineup of ukulele groups from New Zealand and from the Central Coast of Australia. Listen in to some Kiwi and Hawaiian classics or bring your own ukulele and strum along with some of the greats.

Geraldine Ukefest 2017

Cadbury Chocolate Carnival

This annual carnival is taking place in Dunedin from July 15 - 21 and is a must-do for all chocolate-lovers. The week will be filled with chocolate events such as chocolate tours, chocolate decorating, chocolate fishing and more chocolatey goodness. The carnival will end with its well-known Cadbury Jaffa Race - a race of giant Jaffa balls rolling down the world’s steepest street!

Dunedin chocolate carnival

Visa Wellington on a Plate

What better way to experience Wellington’s lively food and beverage scene than to come along and celebrate Wellington on a Plate from August 11 - 27! This region-wide culinary takeover will fill Wellington’s restaurants, laneways and carparks with delectable food and drink options featuring the best of what the region has to offer.

wellington on a plate

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