New Zealand might be hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup this year, but the list of the visiting teams’ countries make up a fine traveller’s checklist for 2015 too. It’s not just cricket that we have in common with them either; there are some awesome surfing destinations, beach havens and delicious places for foodies too. Staying in NZ? Check out the fixtures for the ICC and the Black Caps here, along with some excellent road trip suggestions.
It’s pretty surprising that England produces so many good cricketers, considering how small the island is. That said, it packs a punch with vibrant cities like Manchester, London and Edinburgh, and they’re all pretty easy to get to with regular domestic flights between the United Kingdom’s major cities.
We might manage to beat them in the ICC, but we probably don’t beat Australia on beaches. In fact, the University of Sydney found that there were over 10,000 beaches in Australia. It’s the perfect weekend getaway, especially when flights are as cheap as this!
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3. Sri Lanka
If you’ve dragged your better half to a few cricket games and they’ve attended out of duty, Sri Lanka is a country that’s sure to sway their opinion on cricket. Actually, they might not fancy cricket on their return, but they’ll definitely enjoy their time there. Hide away in a lush rainforest hotel, or hire out a beach bure for a honeymoon-esque holiday.
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4. South Africa
Cape Town, the capital of South Africa, is a major traveller’s hotspot for good reason. They’ve got a brilliant nightlife, a beach where you can swim with penguins, and Table Mountain makes a pretty epic backdrop too. However, Durban and Johannesburg are the cooler older siblings no one really knows about yet – visit this year before the crowds do.
Read more: Top 10 things to see on tour in South Africa
This is the second most populous country in the world, yet not many Kiwis venture beyond the well-travelled backpacking route in Southeast Asia. There’s every reason to venture into the crazy chaos of India, from the outdoor bazaars in old Bombay to the medieval Mughal mausoleums in New Delhi. It’s not all chaos though, the northern cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur are colourful and calm oases of history and heat in Rajasthan.
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Pakistan has always been a hard sell regarding holidays, with some rather futile neighbours and less-than-lovely headlines. However, if you push past the media coverage, you’ll discover a country with epic landscapes, majestic mosques and some of the most delicious curries in the world!
Read more: 8 most colourful cities in the world
7. West Indies
The best bit about the West Indies being on this list is that it’s not just one country, the West Indies cricket team is actually comprised of over 20 smaller islands and territories in the Caribbean. The Caribbean islands are dreamy little pearls of sand dotted around the Caribbean Sea, each with its own personality (and jerk chicken recipe). Head to Barbados to rub shoulders with the celebrities on Sandy Lane, to Jamaica for some of the finest rum in the world and Antigua if you just fancy blissing out on a white sandy beach.
Another destination not yet mapped by travellers, Bangladesh is as warm and welcoming as your local pub. It’s not decked in lavish hotels yet, but that’s part of its charm. Once you roam outside of Dhaka, you come into local villages and communities, not dissimilar to those in Thailand, and who are more than willing to show you how wonderful their country is.
Photo credit: Michael Foley
Zimbabwe easily tops this list as the best destination for adrenalin junkies. Victoria Falls is on most traveller’s bucket lists, whilst the safaris through National Parks to see the big five can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.
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