Rugby in New Zealand

AUSTRALIA PREVIOUS COUNTRY    

Rugby Friends

Ponsonby Rugby Club for incorporating our exhibition into their own historical collection.

World in Union Scroll - Profile

Martin Johnson

England

World Cup winning captain 2003

Richie McCaw

New Zealand

Record capped All Black and current All Black captain.
 

Country Blog

An update at last!  Rewind to the Marlborough Region, South Island. Having cycled up from Dunedin we finally found our way to this wonderful part of the world...

Our faces lifted as we jumped off the bus into Blenheim, Marlborough. Yes, thats right. The infamous wine region of New Zealand. Did you know that something like 98% of NZ's Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Marlborough region? There are over 160 wineries! Will I ever be able to leave?

The journey itself from Christchurch had been stunning and thanks to Tranz Scenic and our new flexible approach to cycling, we had been able to fully soak up and savour the hills, winds and views along the East Coast all from the luxury of a toasty and comfortable coach.

I have to admit to being pretty relieved to skipping that particular bit of cycling, gone are the days of pedalling every inch at all cost. We made it to the RWC and we are going to make darn sure we enjoy it. And that is what we have done. We had been chatting to the brilliant Rachael at Destination Marlborough for a while and she had made it her personal mission to make sure we enjoyed every minute of our time in the Marlborough region. She didnt fail.

On arrival, we were quickly instructed to dash across town and see if we could see the Russian team before they left Blenheim to Nelson for their next big match. The team were fanstastic, as were the local townspeople. Russian street signs had been affixed to the lamposts, local school kids were out with full lung capacity and the big boys looked pretty chuffed with their new adoring fan base. Even I started to join in with the 'Go Russia' chanting such was the excitement! Having waved them off, we went back to have lunch with Rachael and find out what she had in store for us during our two days off the saddle.

Firstly, a pre-recorded morning chat on Classic Hits Radio (big shout out to Scott, Luke & the team!), then a short cycle to the Omaka Aviation Museum. Now this little gem of museum (and truth be told, I'm not a great fan of museums getting rather itchy feet after approximately 5 minutes or so) is actually Peter Jackson's own private WW1 collection. What a collection. Not even itchy feet from me this time! It was like being in a film set, but with real stuff! Incredible planes manned by life like models and enough WW1 memoribilia to make any die hard fan happy.

Having learnt everything there is to know about the Red Baron we headed onto the most anticipated part of the day (for me anyway). A visit to Framinghams, and the chance for us - well, Tom - to win a bottle of wine if Tom managed to score from a single kick over the goal posts. Come on Tom!! To loosen up a little before the big kick, I indulged on Tom's behalf in a couple of tasters from the cellar door. Firstly a crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, always a wine I hold dear to my heart and this one did not disappoint. Next, the dry Reisling which was marvellous, and finally a simply divine desert wine. A Noble Reisling which was astonishing. Marmalade and honey, yet not too sweet. If you are having a dinner party you have to get this wine (also sold back in the UK by the way!). Your guests will think you are a genius. I was starting to wonder if my bike would make a fair swap for a case! A big thanks to MJ, Tom and Maureen at Framinghams for looking after us - when I have a job and some money to spend, I can assure you we will be back!

Anyway, to the kick ladies & gents, and I am happy to announce that Tom successfully converted his free kick into a free bottle of wine. Needless to say I spent a most enjoyable evening sipping on my 'prize' and munching on home made guacamole. Loving Marlborough!

The next day, we made the short and simple little ride over to Picton. A picture postcard little coastal town which is the gateway from the South Island to the North Island. Again, Destination Marlborough had come to the rescue. Not only our arranging accomodation and the Inter Islander ferry to Wellington, but also a fantastic afternoon on the Beachcomber Mail Boat. The only licensed mail boat service in the country, this invaluable service connects these isolated and largely self sufficient families living in the Marlborough Sounds to the rest of the world. We had a great time. Not only did we get to deliver mail with Joe, our postman/ boat driver, but also dispatch dog biscuits & even feed one families pet pigs!! Not sure how long they will be 'pets' for mind you...

Before we knew it, the time came to say goodbye to the South Island and remind ourselves that we weren't on holiday but still had a project to complete. Off we headed to the ferry but there was time for just one more treat. Fish and chips at the Outer Reef (on Kent Street), the most delicious lunch of 'melt in the mouth', freshly caught fish. Thanks Patrice! The perfect way to finish off a wonderful few days.

Final thanks again go to Rachael who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in looking after us during our time in NZ. I can promise, we will be back...

Hamilton

Thanks to the following companies for assisting us in our Hamilton visit !!!

 

New Zealand Photos

A few little photos at least capture some of our feelings towards the climax of our epic adventure across the world.

We hope you all enjoy the RWC 2011.

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