The 10-game tour spans almost six weeks and with a choice of seven host cities and masses to see and do in between matches and venues – the tour to New Zealand is the trip of a lifetime.
New Zealand is rolling out the red carpet to welcome Lions fans on Tour. The Rugby 2017 Festival takes place across the Host Cities in New Zealand following the match schedule and, along with Lions-organised events and excursions, will provide plenty to see and do in the days between the games.
Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand’s home of rugby, will host three British & Irish Lions matches. The British & Irish Lions face Super Rugby team the Auckland Blues in their second provincial match; a good opportunity to get used to playing at Eden Park. The 50,000 capacity stadium later hosts the First and Third test matches on 24 June and 8 July 2017 respectively.
New Zealand’s lively capital city Wellington hosts The British & Irish Lions for two matches during the 2017 series. The final provincial match against Hurricanes on 27 June 2017 and the Second Test against New Zealand on 1 July 2017 will be played in the Westpac Stadium.
The tour kicks off in Whangarei on 3 June 2017, when The British & Irish Lions play Provincial Union XV. Whangarei, in the sub-tropical north of the North Island, is the birthplace of New Zealand and is steeped in history and culture.
The Crusaders are the most successful Super Rugby team and The British & Irish Lions will have their work cut out when they play them on 10 June 2017 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch. It is easy to see why this bustling metropolitan city, full of creativity and art, was named as one of the top places in the world to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet.
The British & Irish Lions face the Highlanders on 13 June 2017 in Dunedin, the city known as the “Edinburgh of the South”. Dunedin has a rich Scottish heritage, so much so that the original city plans were based on Edinburgh. With rugby so embedded in Dunedin culture, the town is preparing for the arrival of The Lions with gusto.
The fascinating geothermal landscape of Rotorua provides a fitting backdrop for the Māori All Blacks vs The British & Irish Lions on 17 June 2017 at the Rotorua International Stadium. This is a popular place for visitors, who have flocked to the Rotorua region since the early 19th century to bathe in the natural hot springs and view the bubbling mud pools and active geysers of the ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’.
Home to the Hobbiton Movie set – the famous shire which featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies, Hamilton Waikato is a very proud rugby region. Waikato Chiefs play The British & Irish Lions on 20 June 2017 at their home stadium, in the week leading up to the First Test.