While you witness the Filipinas make history in the Women’s World Cup, we’ve got some fun things you can add to you trip itinerary.
Earlier this year, the Philippine Women’s National Football Team qualified for a highly coveted spot in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This marks their first time making it to the top football tournament in the world.
So if you’ve ever considered taking a vacation to New Zealand, the Women’s World Cup is the perfect excuse to finally book that ticket—especially if you’re a fan of the Filipinas. Not only will you get to go on a beautiful trip, but you’ll also be witnessing a piece of Philippine history.
Drawn into Group A of the tournament, the Filipinas will open their World Cup campaign with their match against Switzerland on July 21. Following this, they will play New Zealand on the 25th and Norway on the 30th.
All their first three matches will be held in three different cities in New Zealand. The Filipinas’ group stage schedule makes for a perfect way to experience one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
First stop: Dunedin
The Filipinas’ first match of the 2023 Women’s World Cup will take place in Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. And as the country’s Wildlife Capital, it’s the perfect first stop for those of you who enjoy the outdoors, nature, and wildlife.
Here are some of the best places to visit (when you’re not at the stadium cheering the Filipinas on).
The Royal Albatross Center is one of Dunedin’s most special tourist destinations, as it is home to the world’s only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony. Here, you’ll get to see the Albatross colony, sea lions, fur seals, and rare penguins.
To take the edge off from the World Cup’s inevitably heated matches, visit the Dunedin Botanic Garden. The space is lush with beautiful trees, flowers, gardens, and conservatories. Here, you can take a walk through the path and just soak in the beauty of New Zealand’s nature.
While July may be mid-winter in New Zealand, St. Clair Beach is home to the famous St. Clair Hot Salt Water Pool. As one of the only heated seawater pools in New Zealand, you can still definitely go for a swim in this scenic and unique pool.
These are just some of the incredible things to do in Dunedin. But don’t get your fill of tourist destinations just yet. The Filipinas still have two more stops in the group stage.
Second stop: Wellington
After their first match against Switzerland, the Filipinas will be heading to the capital of New Zealand for their next one against the home team. The Philippines vs. New Zealand match will take place in Wellington Regional Stadium.
You’re only in the city for a few days before you have to move on to the Filipinas’ next stop, so take a ride on the historic Wellington Cable Car. Over 120 years old, the city’s cable car service has become an iconic experience that travels through tunnels and bridges, giving you a full view of the beautiful city.
If you want an effortless yet vibrant experience, be sure to visit Cuba Street. It’s a one-stop shop for some of the best things to do in Wellington. You can eat in the best restaurants, shop in the most unique stores, and visit galleries or watch shows. They have something in it for everyone, no matter what your budget.
Finally, one of the most unique places to visit is the Wētā Workshop. They are an award-winning creative design company that works on many famous films. So for any fans of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Avatar, or King Kong, definitely pay this place a visit. You’ll get to see how some of the biggest blockbusters came to life.
And if this isn’t enough to satisfy your travel bug, you’ve still got one more stop on the group-stage tour.
Third stop: Auckland
The Filipinas’ third match will take place in Eden Park in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. And if you’re an adrenaline junkie, we saved the best for last.
Visit the famous landmark in Auckland’s skyline, the Sky Tower. At 328 meters high, the view is undoubtedly stunning from the top. But, there are several ways to enjoy the scene. You can eat in one of their restaurants or cafes, you can take a scenic yoga class, or if you’re feeling brave, leap off the tower (with a wire, of course).
And if that wasn’t enough excitement for you yet, you should visit the Auckland Harbour Bridge. This bridge joins St Mary’s Bay and Northcote and is just over 1,000 meters long. And it’s not only for vehicles—you can scale the bridge if you want to. Book a fully guided bridge climb here and you’ll get to experience the incredible views of the city.
Now, if you’re not one for heights and adrenaline, we get it. As the third stop on the Filipinas’ tour, you should also take a stop by the Auckland Art Gallery. One of the country’s best cultural sites, here, you’ll get to discover and understand more about New Zealand’s history and culture. After all, you should probably learn about the country you’ll be trekking through while following the Filipinas.
Where to next?
As of now, these are the Filipinas’ only scheduled matches, as the group stage plays out in a single round-robin format. Though it will be a challenge, especially as this is the Philippines’ first World Cup appearance, the team will definitely be fighting for a spot in the next stage of the tournament.
And who knows? Your vacation may not end have to end here.
Banner image from TripTravel Tours and Filipinas on Twitter.