AUCKLAND: Eden Park (Capacity: 60,000 - Matches: 11)
One of the most famous sporting stadia in the world, Eden Park will make history on October 23 when it becomes the first venue to host two Rugby World Cup finals.
It also staged the final of the inaugural tournament in 1987 and the first game of the competition on May 22 of that year.
The All Blacks won both matches and will be hoping that history repeats itself on a ground where they have not lost since 1994 and where they have won around 80 per cent of their games.
Indeed, Eden Park has a long and proud history since opening in 1900. In addition to RWC 1987, the 1950 Empire Games were held there, along with the 1988 Rugby League World Cup final and the 1992 Cricket World Cup. It has already been selected as a venue for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
But it is not just an international staging post for the All Blacks and the country's rugby league and cricket sides.
It has also housed Auckland's cricket team since 1910 and the rugby union side since 1925, with Super 14's Blues franchise and ITM Cup outfit Auckland now both tenants.
Following a huge redevelopment that was finished last year and included two new three-tier stands, Eden Park is New Zealand's largest stadium at 50,000, but it will carry 10,000 more spectators at RWC 2011 thanks to temporary seats.
When Christchurch was wrecked by an earthquake in February, Eden Park therefore became the natural choice to take over its two quarter-finals on October 8 and 9.
Located in the heart of New Zealand's largest city — it has a population of over 438,000 — it is well set up to cope with big crowds.
They are likely to experience mild, damp weather during the tournament, with temperatures expected to vary from 9C to 18C.
AUCKLAND: North Harbour Stadium (Capacity: 30,000 - Matches: 4)
This purpose-built, multi-events stadium was opened in 1997 and is set in 23 hectares of grounds in Albany, which lies around 19 kilometres from the centre of Auckland.
It is the focal point of the North Shore Domain, which also includes a large oval field and four other sports pitches.
Rugby union, rugby league and football are played in the main stadium, while cricket takes place on the oval pitch.
The principle arena, which has four floodlight pylons, hosts the home matches of ITM Cup side North Harbour, while Super 14 franchise Auckland Blues occasionally play there as well.
It has also staged games for rugby league side New Zealand Warriors and was a venue for football's Under-17 Women's World Cup in 2008, as well as for the now-defunct New Zealand Knights football team.
Normally the capacity is 25,000, but it has been increased for the 2011 Rugby World Cup with the addition of temporary seating for 5,000 fans.
North Harbour was initially granted three pool matches, but it received an additional fixture — Australia v Italy — when Christchurch withdrew from the tournament after the earthquake in February.
Albany was a town until recently and with much of the land to its north largely being countryside, it does not really seem like a suburb of Auckland.
However, substantial development - including housing and the largest shopping centre in New Zealand — means Albany is now very much part of the country's biggest city.
DUNEDIN: Otago Stadium (Capacity: 30,000 - Matches: 4)
Only recently completed and built specially for Rugby World Cup 2011, this is New Zealand's largest indoor arena with its capacity of 30,000.
It is also the country's first fully-covered stadium including natural grass, but because of doubts over whether the turf will have grown enough in time, it has been strengthened with synthetic grass.
Two machines have been working 20 hours a day for two weeks pumping a massive total of 48,000 kilometres of artificial fibres into the ground.
They have drilled down 20 centimetres and wrapped the synthetic turf round the natural grass to ensure it is strong enough to endure the pounding it is bound to get during the four pool games. It will be irrigated by recycled rainwater.
Although the stadium is fully covered, the pitch will see sunlight, as the roof is transparent. In fact, the temperature will be 2-3C warmer than it is outside during the tournament.
The roof has a clearance of 37 metres above the halfway line — so there is no danger of a Garryowen getting stuck in the rafters!
While rugby is envisaged as being the stadium's main sport, it has been built as a multi-purpose venue.
Two of the stands have variable seating plans so that temporary seats can be brought in according to each event.
The stadium is located around two kilometres from the centre of Dunedin, which is on the south-east coast of South Island and has a population of 123,000.
It was given an additional pool match after Christchurch's stadium was affected by the earthquake in February.
HAMILTON: Waikato Stadium (Capacity: 30,000 - Matches: 3)
There has been a rugby ground on the site since 1925, but it only gained the title of Waikato Stadium in 2002 after a complete overhaul.
Having not hosted an international match for nine years, the old Rugby Park stadium had deteriorated to such an extent by 1996 that it was decided a replacement was needed.
Rugby Park had led a colourful life, though, with the grandstand roof collapsing in 1934 (fortunately with no injuries), Waikato's match with South Africa being called off in 1981 after a pitch invasion by protesters and the Argentina-Fiji match at the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup being held there.
The stadium was also the scene for one of the most memorable matches in Waikato's history in 1956, when they became the first New Zealand province to beat a touring Springboks team.
A crowd of 31,000 witnessed the 14-10 upset and the capacity will be only 1,000 less for RWC 2011 thanks to 5,000 additional provisional seats.
The tournament will continue the Waikato Stadium's record of holding an international match every year since its opening for the Super 12 match between Chiefs and Crusaders.
While rugby union is the venue's main sport as the home of Chiefs and ITM Cup side Waikato, it has also staged football — including the 2008 Under-17 Women's World Cup — and rugby league matches
The stadium is a 15-minute walk from the middle of Hamilton, a city on the banks of the Waikato River in the centre of North Island.
It has a population of over 138,000, but that is increasing rapidly, with half under the age of 30 — no doubt attracted by its mild climate. Temperatures should range from 7C to 18C during RWC 2011.
INVERCARGILL: Rugby Park Stadium (Capacity: 17,000 - Matches: 3)
Rugby Park is appropriately named, having been the centre for the sport in the Southland region since the early 1900s.
However, the current stadium dates back only 10 years, with the old ground being demolished to make way for a brand new 5,000-seater stand and offices in 2001.
Rugby Park once housed more than 30,000 fans, but following the opening of the new stand, the capacity has been drastically reduced and only 17,000 will be allowed for the three Pool B 2011 Rugby World Cup games.
Invercargill was originally due to host just two matches, but it was granted an extra fixture — Scotland v Georgia — following the earthquake that devastated Christchurch earlier this year.
As well as being the home of ITM Cup side Southland, the stadium has staged Super Rugby fixtures for Hurricanes.
Football club Spirit FC have also played there, but when Southland rugby league asked for their club final to take place at the venue in June, their rugby union counterparts turned the request down because of RWC 2011.
The stadium is a 20-minute walk from central Invercargill, which is the most southerly city in New Zealand and one of the most southerly in the world.
As a result, Invercargill can experience four seasons in a day and frosts are common in winter. In September the average low is just below 4C.
With only 93,000 people living in the Southland region, around 50,000 of whom are from Invercargill, it is one of the least populated areas of New Zealand.
The Scotland team and their followers should find it a home from home, as many of Invercargill's main streets are named after Scottish rivers.
NAPIER: McLean Park (Capacity: 15,000 - Matches: 3)
McLean Park is equally famous as a stadium for cricket as it is for rugby, with all major events in the Hawkes Bay region in those sports taking place there.
For rugby, it was a venue for the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, for the Canada-Tonga group game, and coincidentally Canada return this year for two of their Pool A matches.
In addition, it stages all Hawkes Bay's games in the ITM Cup and has played host to Hurricanes in Super 14.
For cricket, McLean Park is better known as a venue for one-day internationals than Test matches and it has been the home of Central Districts since 1952.
It was opened in 1911 as Sir Donald McLean Park after a local MP and landowner, and there have been major improvements to the stadium in the past four years.
A new stand — including corporate entertainment facilities — was opened in 2009 and the six floodlight towers were upgraded.
The ground can hold around 20,000 spectators, with the embankment itself able to take 10,000, but the capacity has been slashed to 15,000 for RWC 2011.
The complex, which also boasts an indoor stadium named the Rodney Green Centennial Event Centre, is a 10-minute walk from Napier city centre.
Napier, which has a population of around 57,000, is situated on the east of North Island on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and so is susceptible to the remnants of tropical cyclones that are still of storm strength.
It has a mild winter climate, with an average low of 7C and high of 19C in the RWC 2011 months.
NELSON: Trafalgar Park (Capacity: 18,000 - Matches: 3)
Trafalgar Park was initially known as a cricket ground, being employed as such in the 1880s, but it is very much a rugby venue now and has been recognised as that since the stadium was built in the 1950s.
There was very little further development on the site, though, until the 1980s, when another sports field was added, and then in 1996 the pavilion was constructed.
A year later floodlighting was installed and in 2008 two new grandstands were built in preparation for the Rugby World Cup.
Initially only two RWC 2011 matches were due to be played in Nelson, but following the earthquake in Christchurch in February, Trafalgar Park was awarded a third — Australia v Russia.
Some of Crusaders' Super 14 matches have also been switched to the stadium because of the earthquake.
Otherwise, Trafalgar Park is regarded as the home of ITM Cup side Tasman. The Central Districts cricket team use it occasionally as well and football has been played there.
Since the site is only a five-minute walk from Nelson city centre, it has also been used as a concert venue.
Nelson is the oldest settled city on South Island, having been founded in 1841, and is the geographical centre of New Zealand.
Set on the eastern shores of the Tasman Bay, it is the economic and cultural capital of the Nelson Tasman region, and is one of the least populated in the country at around 90,000.
Boasting more than 2,400 hours of sun a year and only 940mm of rain, it is the sunniest city in New Zealand, although temperatures do drop to 5C in September.
NEW PLYMOUTH: Stadium Taranaki (Capacity: 26,000 - Matches: 3)
Previously known as the Yarrow Stadium after local businessman, philanthropist and avid rugby fan Noel Yarrow, whose legacy it is, the venue has a new title for Rugby World Cup 2011.
The sports, entertainment and conference facility — which includes four pitches — is now named after the provincial team who play there in the ITM Cup.
Its first incarnation as a rugby ground was in 1931, although it was not until 16 years later that a grandstand was built.
The stadium underwent an extensive revamp in 2002 with the construction of two new grandstands and the capacity was boosted to 26,000 with further redevelopment last year.
As well as being Taranaki's home, the complex has staged matches for the All Blacks, New Zealand Maori and Super 14 franchise Hurricanes.
It was also a venue in the 2006 Pacific Nations Cup and has played host to rugby league matches for NZ Maori and the NZ Warriors.
Stadium Taranaki is situated a half-hour walk from the middle of New Plymouth, a city on the west coast of the North Island and about halfway between Auckland and Wellington.
It is said to be one of the few cities in the world where you can surf and ski the same day, the skiing being available at Mount Taranaki, which is 30 minutes' drive away from the centre of New Plymouth.
It is the main city of the Taranaki region and has a population of over 52,000. During the World Cup the temperature is likely to vary from around 8C to 16C, as the region has a mild and moist climate.
PALMERSTON NORTH: Arena Manawatu (Capacity: 15,000 - Matches: 2)
The Arena has earned a reputation as New Zealand's busiest and most versatile recreational complex.
As well as taking around 8,000 bookings annually, the 18-hectare site stages 36 different sports, exhibitions, conferences, festivals and concerts. However, rugby, not surprisingly, is the main sport.
The venue is the home of ITM Cup side Manawatu Turbos, but with the FMG Stadium limited to just 15,000 spectators for Rugby World Cup 2011, it will be hosting only two pool games.
However, the FMG did have the honour of staging the first ever Super 12 match between the Wellington Hurricanes and Auckland Blues in 1996.
It also held the 1987 RWC match between Wales and Tonga and welcomed the British and Irish Lions for their game against Manawatu in 2005.
Football has been played at the FMG Stadium as well and since the pitch is surrounded by a dirt track, Robertson Holden International Speedway has made its home there.
In addition to the outdoor FMG Stadium, whose rebuilt grandstand was opened in 2005, the complex boasts three other sports grounds and four indoor stadia.
The main indoor venue, which was redeveloped in 2004, has staged netball internationals, basketball matches, motor shows and equestrian events.
The complex is located only seven minutes' walk from the centre of Palmerston North, which is the principal city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of North Island.
It has a population of around 80,000 and has a temperate climate, with September having an average low of 7C and October an average high of nearly 17C.
Palmerston North is the base of the New Zealand Rugby Museum, which houses the country's largest collection of rugby memorabilia, including some of the sport's rarest artefacts.
ROTORUA: International Stadium (Capacity: 26,000 - Matches: 3)
The Rotorua International Stadium already has a Rugby World Cup history, having hosted the third-place play-off between Wales and Australia in the first edition of the tournament in 1987.
The venue was first built in 1911, but has undergone many makeovers since, although it still has only one covered stand, which seats around 4,000.
The stadium has been known to hold 40,000 for concerts, with the likes of opera superstar Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and pop group UB40 having sung there.
However, 35,000 is the norm for rugby matches, although that figure has been cut to 26,000 for its three games at RWC 2011.
The venue is used for rugby union and rugby league matches, with Bay of Plenty the 15-a-side residents. It is one of their two homes, the other being Baypark Stadium in Tauranga.
Bay of Plenty have entertained the British and Irish Lions at the RIS, while international rugby league has been played there as well between New Zealand and Australia.
The arena, which is located a 10-minute drive from the centre of Rotorua, has also staged softball and football matches, along with the Searchlight Tattoo and the Raggamuffin reggae festival.
Rotorua is an inland city on the North Island with a population of over 68,000 and is situated on the southern shores of Lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region.
The region, whose main industry is tourism, is a Maori culture centre and the name Rotorua is Maori for 'second lake'.
Temperatures vary from an average low of 6C in September to an average high of nearly 17C in October.
WELLINGTON: Regional Stadium (Capacity: 40,000 - Matches: 8)
Also known as the Westpac Stadium and nicknamed 'The Cake Tin' (because of its circular shape and silver colour), this arena was opened in 2000.
It was a replacement for the dilapidated Athletic Park and was also constructed as a concert venue and a larger home for one-day international cricket matches in the city, since the Basin Reserve was no longer attracting the latter.
Its inaugural year was marked by the staging of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo — the first time it had been held outside Scotland — but the stadium is largely used for sport and concerts.
The Rolling Stones, Police, Kiss, AC/DC, Bon Jovi and Ozzy Ozbourne are among rock stars to have performed in 'The Cake Tin'.
Otherwise, it is a regular port of call for the All Blacks and New Zealand's rugby league, football and one-day cricket teams.
It is also the home of Super Rugby's Hurricanes franchise, ITM Cup side Wellington Lions, cricket team Wellington Firebirds and football outfit Wellington Phoenix.
During the Black Caps' cricket match against England in 2002 Kiwi film director Peter Jackson recorded 30,000 fans chanting in 'Black Speech' — JRR Tolkein's fictional language — for his film 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers'.
Normally its capacity is 36,000, but it will be boosted to 40,000 for its eight matches at the Rugby World Cup thanks to temporary seating.
That is one more game than originally scheduled due to the Christchurch earthquake, with Argentina v Scotland now being held in 'The Cake Tin' as well.
It is one of only two RWC stadia hosting knockout ties, Auckland's Eden Park being the other, but Wellington has been granted just two quarter-finals.
The stadium is a short walk from the central railway station of New Zealand's capital city and centre of government. Located on the southern tip of North Island, the city is renowned for its strong and cold winds.
WHANGAREI: Northland Events Centre (Capacity: 20,000 - Matches: 2)
Formerly known as Okara Park, the site was renamed Northland Events Centre after it underwent a major redevelopment, which was completed earlier this year.
The old stadium, which dated back to 1965, was totally demolished, as it was not deemed capable of holding major events any more, and replaced by two new grandstands, terraces, changing rooms and offices.
While the renovation transformed the arena into a multi-purpose facility, capable of holding conferences, festivals, concerts and sports events, it is still generally regarded as a rugby venue.
It is the home of ITM Cup side Northland and has staged their matches against the British and Irish Lions, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
In 1979 the stadium attracted a record crowd of 40,000 for the Ranfurly Shield match between North Auckland — Northland's previous name — and Auckland.
Capacity has been reduced to 25,000 since its redevelopment and has been cut further to 20,000 for the two Rugby World Cup games there.
The Centre is in an industrial area about 1.5 kilometres from the middle of Whangarei and is the most northerly of RWC 2011's 12 stadia, being located around 160 kilometres north of Auckland.
Whangarei is the warmest city in New Zealand, being situated in the country's sub-tropical climate zone. Its winters are therefore mild, with temperatures ranging from an average low of 9C in September to an average high of 18C in October.
It is the capital of the Northland region and is the main commercial centre. It has a population of around 76,500.