New Zealand is getting ready to welcome an influx of football fans this July and August, with four cities hosting games at the 2023 Women's World Cup.
From the capital city Wellington to Dunedin in the South Island, fans from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia will be moving around the antipodean islands following their teams, while the locals will no doubt enjoy a carnival atmosphere.
Here, GOAL takes a closer look at the four Soccer Cities in New Zealand playing host to Women's World Cup games in 2023.
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Stadium: Wellington Regional Stadium Capacity: 39,000 Address: 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington 6140
Wellington's Regional Stadium - also known as Sky Stadium - is the Wellington venue hosting a number of games at the World Cup this year. Home of A-League side Wellington Phoenix, the wonderful waterfront ground has a capacity of 39,000 and is sure to produce a cacophonous atmosphere.
Which games are on in Wellington?
Date Match July 21 Spain vs Costa Rica July 23 Sweden vs South Africa July 25 New Zealand vs Philippines July 27 USWNT vs Netherlands July 29 Sweden vs Italy July 31 Japan vs Spain August 2 South Africa vs Italy August 5 Round of 16 August 11 Quarter-final
Wellington will welcome a broad array of fans from across the world during the Women's World Cup, with nine matches to be played, including games involving the hosts and the USWNT.
There will be seven group games and two knockout fixtures.
Where to stay in Wellington
The map above has a variety of options for places to stay in Wellington.
Things to do in Wellington
- Ride the Wellington Cable Car
- Weta Workshop tour
- Visit Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
- Hike Mount Victoria
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and no trip there would be complete without heading up on the Wellington Cable Car for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.
Fans of the Lord of the Rings films should definitely make time to visit the award-winning Weta Workshop and do a tour of the place where movie-making magic is conjured.
If you fancy learning more about the fascinating history of New Zealand, pencil in a visit to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which is an educational hub, teaching visitors about Maori astronomy and much more.
A cultural melting pot, the city has no shortage of cafes to while away the hours - try the flat white - and if you're a bit more active in your disposition, why not have a go at the nature trails leading to the top of Mount Victoria?
Stadium: Eden Park Capacity: 48,276 Address: Reimers Avenue, Kingsland, Auckland 1024
Auckland's Eden Park is the biggest stadium in New Zealand being used at the Women's World Cup.
A veritable fortress for the All Blacks rugby union team, the Women's World Cup will be the venue's most notable use for soccer.
Which games are on in Auckland?
Date Match July 20 New Zealand vs Norway July 22 USWNT vs Vietnam July 24 Italy vs Argentina July 26 Spain vs Zambia July 30 Norway vs Philippines August 1 Portugal vs USWNT August 5 Round of 16 August 11 Quarter-final August 15 Semi-final
Auckland will host a total of nine games at the Women's World Cup, including the opening game between New Zealand and Norway on July 20.
As well as six group matches, Eden Park will be the venue for a round-of-16 game, one quarter-final and a semi-final.
Fans from the United States, Spain, Italy, Argentina and Portugal are expected to visit the city, so there will be a brilliantly diverse atmosphere during the tournament.
Where to stay in Auckland
Check out the map above for places to stay while in Auckland.
Things to do in Auckland
- Visit Sky Tower
- Whale watching
- Visit Auckland Domain
- Kayak to Rangitoto Island
Auckland is "the perfect mix of city sophistication and a natural playground" according to newzealand.com and it is fair to say that there is no shortage of things to do in the North Island metropolis.
The Sky Tower is an iconic sight on the Auckland skyline - it is actually the tallest structure in New Zealand - and adventurous visitors can actually do a Sky Jump from the 328m-high structure or try a Sky Walk.
Wildlife lovers who relish the outdoors can go on a Whale safari from Auckland Harbour, with a variety of species to be found in the Hauraki gulf, including dolphins, orca, minke whales and more.
Auckland Domain is one of the biggest public parks in the city and is very central, offering outstandingly beautiful views of the gulf and volcanic Rangitoto Island - which can actually be reached via kayak.
Stadium: Waikato Stadium Capacity: 25,111 Address: 128 Seddon Road, Frankton, Hamilton 3204
Waikato Stadium in Hamilton/Kirikiriroa is a 25,000-seater rugby stadium that will be used for group games at the tournament.
Situated on the banks of the Waikato river, the city of Hamilton is where figures such as former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and rugby coach Warren Gatland were born.
Which games are on in Hamilton?
Date Match July 22 Zambia vs Japan July 25 Switzerland vs Norway July 27 Portugal vs Vietnam July 31 Costa Rica vs Zambia August 2 Argentina vs Sweden
Hamilton will host a total of five group games at the Women's World Cup, with fans from Argentina, Sweden, Portugal and Zambia among those expected to descend on the city.
There will be plenty of intrigue when Zambia play Japan, while the August 2 clash between Argentina and Sweden should draw a crowd.
Where to stay in Hamilton
You can browse places to stay in Hamilton with the map above.
Things to do in Hamilton
- Hamilton Gardens
- Waikato Museum
- Hamilton Zoo
- Hobbiton moview set
The famous Hobbiton movie set from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy can be found in the Waikato region, just 45 minutes from Hamilton. You can take a guided tour of New Zealand's 'Shire' and avail of 'Second Breakfast' while there.
Hamilton Gardens will transport you around the world with its amazing variety of concept gardens, with Chinese, Egyptian and tropical influences to be found, all within the centre of the city.
The Waikato Museum is a must for any culture enthusiast, with an array of local, Maori exhibits to peruse.
Stadium: Forsyth Barr Stadium Capacity: 28,744 Address: Anzac Avenue, Logan Park, Dunedin, Otago
Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin is the only Women's World Cup venue situated on New Zealand's South Island. Known as the Glass House due to its magnificent clear ceiling, it is a multi-use stadium that was previously used for the 2015 U20 World Cup.
Which games are on in Dunedin?
Dunedin will host a total of six group matches at the Women's World Cup, including Switzerland vs New Zealand in Group A, Japan vs Costa Rica in Group C and Netherlands vs Portugal in Group E.
Date Match July 21 Philippines vs Switzerland July 23 Netherlands vs Portugal July 26 Japan vs Costa Rica July 28 Argentina vs South Africa July 30 Switzerland vs New Zealand August 1 Vietnam vs Netherlands
Where to stay in Dunedin
Check out the interactive map above for places to stay in Dunedin.
Things to do in Dunedin
- Visit Larnach Castle
- See local wildlife
- Visit Port Chalmers
- Do a brewery tour
Dunedin takes its name from the Scots-Gaelic name for Edinburgh (Dún Èideann), which translates as 'Hill fort of Edin'. As such a strong Scottish heritage is woven into the Otago city, with Larnach Castle being a fine example.
Built in 1871 by William Larnach, who was born to Scottish parents, the castle is just 20 minutes away from the city centre and is a wonderful option for a day out, with mesmerising views of the Otago peninsula.
If Victorian architecture isn't your thing, you might prefer a wildlife tour, either on land or sea, to see the abundance of rare species which live in the region. Dunedin is known as the wildlife capital of New Zealand, with a variety of penguin species, albatross and kiwi living in the Otago area.
Sight-seeing can, of course, be thirsty work and you can tend to that by going on a tour of one of the local breweries, such as Speight's or Emerson's craft brewery.
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