Aucklanders are being promised an "incomparable" atmosphere as the city plans to welcome home a triumphant Team New Zealand on Thursday with hordes of schoolchildren expected in the heaving crowds.

Team New Zealand will be honoured with a parade on Thursday. The parade will feature the cup and members of the winning team, making its way along Queen St in the central city from 12.30pm.

Team New Zealand will then take to the water for a sail past, giving fans and spectators a unique vantage point from which to welcome the team home.

Some schools have expressed interested in being in the crowd while others have advised parents taking their children to the parades to keep them away all day rather than pulling them out halfway through their lessons.


In a note to students, one school said students would not be permitted to leave during the day to attend the America's Cup parade so it would be better to keep home all day. The absence would be recorded as an explained unjustified absence.

Brett O'Riley, chief executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, said last week that a number of schools had expressed interest in attending the event as the term came to an end and others wanted to release students to attend with their families.

Lions fans Tim Moss, left, and Jason Diaper from Swansea at the Cloud fanzone before the first test. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Lions fans Tim Moss, left, and Jason Diaper from Swansea at the Cloud fanzone before the first test. Photo / Jason Oxenham

There will be road closures and bus diversions in place for the parade.

It's looking likely it will rain on Team New Zealand's parade. Fans that are planning to head out to join the festivities might need raincoats because it's looking likely to rain later this week.

Weather Watch is predicting a 50 per cent chance of rain on Thursday with a mix of sunny spells and a few showers expected.

The MetService forecast isn't any better, predicting periods of rain getting heavier later in the day.

The parade will be followed by the crucial third test between the All Blacks and the Lions at Eden Park, with the series locked up at one win each.

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (Ateed) head of major events Charmaine Ngarimu said the city is the place to be this week.

"The atmosphere on the waterfront will be electric, and there will be plenty to do and see at the fanzones, on the Fan Trail and around the city."


A fanzone will be open at Queens Wharf from Thursday from 11am-11pm. It will allow spectators to watch the sail past on the water while the parade will be shown on big screens.

Legendary former All Black Sir John Kirwan will host a chat at the fanzone with Huriana Manuel, captain of the world champion New Zealand women's sevens team before a screening of the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup finals on Thursday night.

The World Cup trophy, the Webb Ellis Cup, will be on display at the fanzone.

Fans keen to watch the test at a fanzone on Saturday night will have two choices, either at Queens Wharf or at a fanzone at the North Shore Events Centre north of Auckland.

The fan trail will be back in action for this weekend's game.

It was a tsunami of red before the first test as thousands of Lions fans decked out in supporters gear made their way along the 4.2km route from the waterfront to Eden Park.

It will again feature street performers including fire dancers and circus performers, drummers, drag queens, kapa haka, live music and face painting.

Fans visiting the Queens Wharf fanzone can also check out a display of stunning historic rugby photographs in the Hard on the Heels exhibition by New Zealand rugby photographer Peter Bush.

Travel on trains and special events buses is included with pre-purchased game tickets.