Reshma Krishnan Barshikar

I remember my trip to Sydney like it was yesterday; every day was a revelation. I had Mexican, Chinese and the best lamb in the world all in a single day along with my first cup of real espresso. The indigenous wine was delicious and cheap, and my drive to the Blue Mountains stunned me to silence- my colleague and I didn’t speak once. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is spread across fourteen cities in Australia and New Zealand and is the best opportunity to witness a sport you love while having a vacation of a lifetime. Here are five reasons why there’s nothing quite like traveling Down Under:

Food & Wine:
This is the home of the biggest food show in the world- Masterchef Australia, where Greeks whip up sushi and Indians whip up French onion soup. Shuck fresh Oysters in Sydney or tuck into Wild Barramundi in the Northern Territories. There is no such thing as Australian cuisine; the multicultural diversity means that nothing is derived and everything is authentic and has evolved organically. You can also finally answer that question- what does Kangaroo taste like? With both Auckland and Nelson hosting the cup, you get a chance to drive through green rolling vineyards and taste an impressive array of varieties from award winning Sauvignon Blancs to crisp Riesling perfect for the New Zealand summer.

Landscape:
Beaches, the outback, Blue Mountains and islands, coral reefs and cities- there are landscapes for everyone and let’s not forget about New Zealand, which gets its own little paragraph. If you’re spending a bulk of your time in Melbourne, then set out from Victoria to explore the Great Ocean Road which takes you to the Twelve Apostles and links famous surf beaches, quaint seaside towns, and marine lookouts. There is also magic in Uluru and the Red center. Sip wine while you stare at pink mountains in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park. The seasons are topsy-turvy; their summer is our winter, which makes it the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 the perfect time to visit Australia.

Shimmering cities:
The Opera House and the natural Sydney Harbor are worth a trip in themselves and you’re getting them on the side of cricket, aren’t you fancy? You’ll find yourself asking, how do people get any work done in this country? Melbourne is brimming with art and music, gardens and carnivals. It seems to be on a constant holiday from real life. Sydney has the beaches and the rocks and Bondi Beach. But the ICC Cricket world cup means you can head to Adelaide and swim with dolphins or go museum hopping in Canberra.

Water:
The Great Barrier Reef – enough said. The 2,300-kilometer Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and home to diverse marine life. If you’re a scuba diver, this is like coming home. While it’s not as life changing as diving in Micronesia, having giant man-size cod’s kiss you on the nose in Cod Hole can be surreal. If you love sharks, then you best head to North Horn in Osprey Reef.

New Zealand:
If you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings, then there’s no reason to convince you any further. Those white peaks and the stark landscapes were no product of CGI and you can see them for yourself in the Lord of the Rings tour or visit the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata. Cricket will be played in Dunedin, Christchurch, Hamilton, Napier and Nelson. While the World Cup doesn’t head to Queenstown, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a small detour and scream a little, or a lot, in the world’s capital for extreme sports. Skydive, Bungee Jump or jet line, did you ever think Cricket could be this much fun?

Eventraveler has individual pages for each ICC Cricket World Cup host city and we will be putting together a series of itineraries and to-do lists so that when you visit the ICC World Cup 2015 you can make the most of your trip and have the best vacation ever!

Reshma Krishnan hates cricket and still wants to attend the World Cup this year.

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