Tracey Hodge doesn't like to be called a 'super fan'.

But it's clear that she is, one of only around 20-30 people making the trip from New Zealand to South America, to see the All Whites face Peru on Thursday.

It's an intrepid journey. It's fairly long, the best part of 24 hours door to door, involving at least one connecting flight, and arriving into a city of 9 million people all hell bent on seeing their nation progress to the World Cup.

So what does Hodge, who works as an analyst for a government department in Wellington, expect in terms of a reception?


"It will be interesting," said Hodge. "We don't know what might happen...going into a huge city where there is so much pressure to perform on Peru. We'll be careful to start with, try to be pretty anonymous on the days leading up to the game. But at the stadium we'll have the shirts and flags out...that's why we are here."

Hodge and a few friends planned their expedition back in July.

"It was time for a trip and not many of us had great hopes about the team going to Russia - back then - so the next best thing to go for was the qualifier", said Hodge. "And we will get to have a look around South America as a bonus."

Hodge, 28, grew up in a rugby household but says her interest in football began when she worked for the Phoenix in a part time role during their first season in 2007. From there she met some of the dedicated Yellow Fever fan base, and it has evolved from there.

"I decided when the All Whites qualified for South Africa that I would just go," said Hodge.

"I didn't know anyone but I had an amazing time with the group."

Hodge, who has also been to Adelaide to see the All Whites, expects to be the only female among the travelling contingent. Her family is no longer surprised by her adventures combining football fandom in far flung destinations.

"I guess some of my family and friends think that I'm crazy for travelling across the world to go to a football game," said Hodge. "But otherwise they just think 'classic Tracey'.

Aside from New Zealand, there are Kiwis coming from the United States, Australia, England and other parts of South America to be present at the match.

Lima isn't nearly as dangerous as some other cities on the continent, but it is a still a huge metropolis and a place to take precautions.

"You need to be careful at times but I think everything will be fine," said Hodge. "And obviously we have registered with Safe Travel."

After the game on Thursday Hodge and a few companions are exploring Peru - including Machu Picchu - and also going across the border to Bolivia, before travelling home via Santiago.

"It's going to be a great adventure," said Hodge. "We can't wait. But the game will be amazing. Everything is set up perfectly after the result (0-0) in Wellington."