Buses open up accommodation for French test
Hotels and motels across New Plymouth may be filling up fast ahead of the All Blacks-France rugby test, but there is an abundance of room left south of Burgess Park.
Hawera i-SITE supervisor Sharon Wilson said South Taranaki had "plenty of beds left" for out-of-town rugby fans.
"We also have a match-day bus service so people can catch a ride from 5.30pm on June 22," she said.
The service will leave from both the i-SITE building on High St or Camberwell Rd.
She said those on the bus could also enjoy a cheeky beer before the game.
Stratford i-SITE manager Trish Dent said their accommodation providers were also still taking bookings. She too was pushing the match-day bus service as a great alternative to driving and hunting for a parking spot.
New Plymouth District Council visitor experience team leader Karen Moratti-Longstaff said people might not get their first option of accommodation, but they would find them somewhere to stay.
"Having the district bus service bringing in fans on game day from 11 towns around the mountain has made it easier for people travelling to Taranaki to consider accommodation outside the city," she said.
There are now just 1600 tickets left to the Yarrow Stadium test match, the third in the three-game series.
However, accommodation for the French team in New Plymouth will not be an issue as it emerged yesterday Les Bleus will spend most of their time in Auckland.
The French tourist rugby players will only arrive in Taranaki the day before the third test on June 22.
The All Blacks will arrive in New Plymouth a week before the match.
Taranaki chief executive Neil Pennington would have preferred France stayed longer in the region. "Absolutely, yes, that would have been our preference. I don't know the reasons for coming so late and we didn't press them on it. It would have been good to showcase them our province, for them to get among the kids and the community. It's unfortunate. Even a day earlier would have been good."
Taranaki Daily News