The countdown is on! Cricket fans across Australia have spent months ticking off the days on their calendar. The wait is almost over and the 2015 Cricket World Cup is finally about to begin. Just in case you're not a big cricket fan (oh, the shame) here's a quick rundown: The ICC Cricket World Cup sees the world's top 14 One-Day International teams battle it out for the title. This year us Aussies are lucky enough to host it, together with our Kiwi friends across the ditch. The competition runs from 14 February to 29 March, with the final taking place at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Seven Australian cities will host matches - Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney - and if you're a hardcore cricket nut and plan on following the Aussie team around the country to cheer them on, chances are you'll be visiting most of these spots. Here are our suggestions for how you can pack in an exciting Australian holiday as you follow our beloved cricketers through their world cup journey.
Australia V England, February 14, Melbourne
Australia's World Cup kicks off against one of our fiercest rivals - England - in the mighty city of Melbourne in New South Wales. You could spend your time away from the cricket ground exploring the quirky and eclectic laneways that weave their way around the city. Off-beat bars, oddball boutiques and a myriad surprises are waiting to be explored down these hotbeds of Melbourne creativity.
Then, of course, there's the world-class Melbourne Zoo and the outstanding Melbourne Museum, both of which are full of interesting characters and fun-filled experiences. If you're a fan of quality Australian vino, you absolutely must head to the Yarra Valley, only an hour from the CBD. You may struggle to drag yourself away from the stunning scenery and over 70 wineries when the time comes to move on to Queensland.
Australia V Bangladesh, February 21, Brisbane
Australia's second pool clash brings you to Brisbane for the game against Bangladesh. Once the cricket ends (after an Aussie victory!) you can jump on a cruise of the Brisbane River, or head out of the city to the awesome beaches of the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast.
Head off the tourist trail and explore some of Brisbane's hidden gems. The Chung Tian Temple in Logan is a beautiful Chinese Buddhist temple constructed amongst the serenity of nature. take a tour of the temple and enjoy some peace and quite away from the mad cricket crowds.
Australia V Afghanistan, March 4, Perth
Next up for the Aussies is a game against our staunch rivals New Zealand. This one takes place in Auckland. Unless you're following the team across the ditch, you've got a chance to spend a few extra days in Brisbane, or make the long journey to the far side of Western Australia and the next host city of Perth, in advance of the match against Afghanistan.
The city's quality coffee culture and hopping night life ought to keep you busy for a while. The city also has an extensive list of top-notch markets taking place across the city and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Pick up everything from hand-made arts and crafts to fresh local produce. Canning Vale Market on Bannister Road is one of the biggest in the city, with over 1,000 stalls, while the Bathers Beach Sunset Market in Fremantle offers a gorgeous beachfront location to browse the various stalls as the sun sets behind you - pure magic!
Australia V Sri Lanka, March 8, Sydney
Our next game takes us right back across the country to NSW. Australia takes on the cricket powerhouse of Sri Lanka in Sydney on March 8. Of course, Sydney is a vibrant city where there's always something exciting happening. Between taking in a show at any of the city's magnificent theatres and cruising out among the harbour's pretty islands, your time here could be pretty action-packed.
But if you've been following the cricketers all this way, you're probably pretty tired by now, so some chill-out time is in order. Grab your towel and cossie and soak up some sun on one of Sydney's beaches. You've got plenty to choose from, but if you're looking for a bit more peace and quiet, head 50 minutes out of the city to Palm Beach, the northernmost of the city's beaches. It's got quality sea, surf and sand and great opportunities for fishing and leisurely coastal walks.
Australia V Scotland, March 14, Hobart
Our intrepid cricketers round off their group games with a trip to Tasmania to take on the kilted men of Scotland in Hobart. The exciting mix of scenery, culture and heritage ensures that, although your adventure around Australia may be coming to an end, it's certainly not winding down. Take a trip to the summit of Mount Wellington to enjoy the panoramic views over the city and further afield.
The historic Battery Point is a must-see for visitors. Many historic buildings from the first European settlement of 'Hobart Town' still remain in the area. And for some evening delights, venture to North Hobart and the iconic Elizabeth Street, where you'll have your pick of colourful and flavoursome dining options to choose from.
If you've completed that criss-crossing tour of Australia in support of our cricketers then we salute you. The only thing left to ask is - where to for the quarter final?
Facebook Update: The wait is over and we can finally rub our hands with glee as the Cricket World Cup is about to begin. If you want to support the Australian cricket team on their world cup journey you'll be criss-crossing the country and visiting some of our best cities. Here are some ideas on how to turn your cricket adventure into a mammoth Aussie holiday.