Auckland prepares for Rally New Zealand -

March 13, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News highlights motor sport fans in Auckland are counting down the days until this year's Rally New Zealand, which takes place in the city from Friday May 7th to Sunday May 9th.

As the oldest World Rally Championship (WRC) event in the southern hemisphere, the race was first staged in 1969 and received WRC status in 1977.

After a starting ceremony at Auckland's Viaduct Harbour, the event will see some of the world's finest rally drivers battle it out at breakneck speed through the areas of Whangarei, Kaipara, Franklin, North Waikato and Raglan.

People using hotels in Auckland can look forward to some exhilarating views of the action, as prime spectator points have been selected to provide the best experience for the crowd.

Tickets for the event will go on sale at the end of March, with a gold pass priced at NZ$75 (£35).

This ticket entitles spectators to all three race days and a programme, while tickets for individual days are available for NZ$20.

One of the most popular features of this year's Rally New Zealand is set to be the Rally Rail spectator train, which offers an alternative form of transport for those who like to get close to the action.

Leaving from Auckland's Newmarket station on the morning of May 7th, the train provides access to four stages of the race for NZ$170, or NZ$150 for people who already have a rally pass.