Travel: Wellington, New Zealand

The World Cup of Rugby runs September 9 - October 23, but there's a lot more to see in between matches.

The famed haka dance, long-utilized by the All-Blacks during rugby matches (Photo: Paul Chinn/The Chronicle/Corbis)

Rugby in New Zealand is like hockey in Canada. New Zealand’s national team, the All-Blacks, are world renown even among non-rugby fans for their intimidating pre-game “haka” warrior dance (seriously, YouTube it). So there’s really no better place to catch the 2011 World Cup of Rugby, which runs in various stadiums across New Zealand from Sept. 9 to Oct. 23, than the country’s capital city. Along with shockingly violent sport with no pads, Wellington will give you a chance to really enjoy New Zealand’s wine, food and culture, including a precious little place called Middle Earth. To quote Flight of the Conchords: “New Zealand. Better than Old Zealand.”

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