TOP GOLF COURSES OF NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Golf
1. Introduction to New Zealand
New Zealand is a compact country of two main
islands stretching 1600 km / 990 mi (north to
south) and up to 400 km / 250 mi (east to west).
With a relatively small population of just over
4.5 million people, there’s plenty of room in this
green and pleasant land for fairways and greens.
4. Northland Top Courses
5. Kauri Cliffs
7. Auckland Top Courses
8. Gulf Harbour
9. Titirangi Golf Club
11. Taupo & Hawke’s Bay Top Courses
12. Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary
13. The Kinloch Club
14. Cape Kidnappers
15. North and South Island Trails
18. Wellington Top Courses
19. Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club
20. Royal Wellington Golf Club
22. Canterbury Top Courses
23. Clearwater Resort
25. Queenstown and surrounds Top Courses
26. Millbrook Resort
27. The Hills
28. Jack’s Point
29. Accessible New Zealand
All told, New Zealand has just over 400 golf
courses, spread evenly from one end of the
country to the other, and the second highest
number of courses per capita in the world.
The thin coastal topography of the land coupled
with its hilly interior has produced a rich legacy
of varied courses from classical links, scattered
mainly along the coastlines, to the more traditional
parkland courses further inland.
Over the past 20 years, the New Zealand golfing
landscape has been greatly enhanced by the
work of world-class architects such as Tom
Doak, Robert Trent Jones Jnr, Jack Nicklaus
and David Harman who have designed at least
12 world-class courses (complete with five-star
accommodation and cuisine).
Strategically located near either snowy capped
mountains or isolated coastal stretches (and in
some cases both) these locations provide not
only superb natural backdrops for playing golf
but the added bonus of breathtaking scenery.
Visitors heading to New Zealand to play golf will quickly discover that they are hopelessly spoilt for choice. ‘Where do
I want to play?’ and ‘What type of course do I wish to play?’ are the questions most golfers will ask themselves.
Phil Tataurangi is a PGA Tour winner who
now practises as a golf course designer and is a
commentator for the PGA Tour and Golf in
Lydia Ko is a New Zealand golfer. She was the
world’s top amateur when she turned professional
in 2013. She is the youngest ever winner of a
professional golf event.
Greg Turner is a European tour winner and a
winning Presidents Cup team member. He plays
on the European Senior tour and is a renowned
golf architect in New Zealand.
“New Zealand may well be the most diverse
golf destination in the world, both on and off
“New Zealand is simply an amazing golf
destination. It has some of the best golf
courses I have ever played. It should be a
must-visit place for golfers from all over
the world. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Golf for all skill levels, sitting seamlessly in
every landscape you can imagine - that’s golf
New Zealand style!”
This symbol denotes the top golf courses and facilities as determined after inspection by Golf Tourism New Zealand - an independent industry group. One of the requirements includes
being committed to a working relationship with trade and providing commission. The additional courses featured have been selected as they include some of the design, facilities and
services desirable to international golf visitors. The order of listing for these additional courses are not rankings.
Visitors will spend a lot of time soaking up the sun in Northland, home
to many beaches and secluded sunny spots.
The ocean is an important part of Northland, from Cape Reinga
– the turbulent meeting place of two mighty oceans – to the plentiful
opportunities to swim, dive, surf, fish or kayak. Northland - the home of many
important historic sites - is a place of deep significance for New Zealanders.
Top Courses of the Northland Region
1. Kauri Cliffs
TOP 12 COURSE
4. Waitangi Golf Club
This is one of New Zealand’s - and the world’s - most acclaimed golf
courses. Fifteen of the 18 holes afford sweeping vistas of the Pacific
Ocean, and golf writers consistently describe it as a ‘must see, must
play’ course. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs offers magnificent luxury
Elevated above the beautiful Bay of Islands, the Waitangi course
offers wide sea views and a variety of holes - from long narrow par-4
fairways to short tight rolling contoured holes.
2. Carrington Club
5. Waipu Golf Club
3. The Bay of Islands Golf Club
6. Mangawhai Golf Club
This is an isolated course within a beautiful wetlands setting on the
Karikari Peninsula, in New Zealand’s Far North. This 18-hole course
- designed by American Matt Dye - has sweeping views of the ocean,
and resort-style accommodation.
At Kerikeri, this 6700-yard championship course is a beautifully
manicured and maintained course. The volcanic rock base means
year-round dry conditions underfoot, and uncrowded fairways offer
peace and quiet.
Beside the Pacific Ocean, this classical coastal links layout features
relatively flat fairways that offer easy walking with wonderful views
of sparkling Bream Bay. Waipu is a two-hour drive north of Auckland.
This renowned links layout in Northland sits beside one of the region’s
finest surf beaches. It is famously popular for large fast greens and
rated as a tough golfing test for visitors.
Arguably New Zealand’s finest all-round course,
Kauri Cliffs - and the five-star luxury lodge of the
same name - sits on a cliff-top near the northern
tip of the North Island. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
and golf course were developed by US hedgefund
founder Julian Robertson.
Designed by the late David Harman to feature
the natural landscape, Kauri Cliffs was opened in
1999. Since then, it has earned the admiration of
many world-class golfers and consistently rates
in the world’s top 50 golf courses as selected by
golf publications and websites.
Along with the challenge, golfers can enjoy
majestic views of the Pacific Ocean from at least
15 holes – including six holes on the edge of the
cliff-top. At the end of the day, you can relax in
the award winning lodge and enjoy beautifully
crafted food and wine before retiring to your
A. 139 Tepene Tablelands Road, Matauri Bay, Kaeo, Northland | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | P. 0064 9 407 0060
As New Zealand’s largest city and international gateway, Auckland has
something for everyone - relaxing or invigorating. Take in the sun at one
of the many restaurants, cafés or bars; savour some of New Zealand’s best
wine at a vineyard, or take a short ferry ride to explore the islands of the
surrounding Hauraki Gulf.
Top Courses of the Auckland region
1. Gulf Harbour
TOP 12 COURSE
This mature championship course - designed by top US golf architect
Robert Trent Jones Jnr - is perched on the head of a peninsula and
just 40 minutes from downtown Auckland. It has hosted both the
prestigious World Cup of Golf and the New Zealand Open.
2. Titirangi Golf Club
TOP 12 COURSE
This New Zealand golfing gem is just 20 minutes drive from downtown
Auckland. The work of British golf designer Dr Alister MacKenzie and
opened in 1929, this golf course has a unique location within a native
bird sanctuary and surrounded by lush New Zealand forest. Each hole
is distinctive and memorable.
3. Royal Auckland
One of only two New Zealand golf courses to carry the official Royal seal
in its title, Royal Auckland is a handsome private members club with a
long history and tradition. The dry sandy base ensures pleasurable yearround conditions.
4. The Grange
The Grange - which sits adjacent to Royal Auckland - has hosted the
New Zealand Open on numerous occasions. This classic parklands
course has long been one of Auckland’s most popular golf courses.
5. Remuera Golf Club
One of the best maintained golf courses in New Zealand, Remuera
Golf Club has impressive auxiliary facilities including grass practice
fairways and a driving range. The picturesque parkland course features
tight fairways demanding accuracy from tee to green.
6. Muriwai Golf Club
On Auckland’s west coast, Muriwai is just 45 minutes by road from downtown
Auckland. This bold and brilliant links layout takes nature head on with a
prevailing wind that delivers a different challenge every day. There’s always
a round available here.
On the Whangaparoa Peninsula – 40 minutes
drive from downtown Auckland – Gulf Harbour
was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and
opened in 1998.
With many outstanding sea views, Gulf Harbour
has a links-style feel. Trent Jones Jnr kept this
course mostly open to the elements so that when
the wind blows, par or a score anywhere near that
represents a fine day’s golf.
The signature hole is the 16th – a 460 yard par
4 dog leg along the cliff tops. John Daly took the
short cut across the sea during the 1998 World
Cup of Golf, and on one occasion nearly drove
A. 180 Gulf Harbour Drive, Gulf Harbour, Whangapararoa | E. email@example.com | P. 0064 9 424 0971
Titirangi - 15 minutes drive from downtown
Auckland - is a tight but beautiful golf course
designed by renowned British designer Dr Alister
MacKenzie. Opened in the 1920s, this is a shot
maker’s course that many consider as good as
any of the newer championship courses.
Though not long, this course is described as
brutally strategic. The most memorable hole,
the par 5 13th, is short but demanding with a
narrow fairway and a teebox placed behind a
tree-shrouded gully which obscures both the
green and the fairway.
A. 11 Links Road, New Lynn, Auckland | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | P. 0064 9 827 5749
Taupo & Hawke’s Bay
Lake Taupo boasts a range of high action activities, but also a multitude of
things to do for those not seeking adventure. Popular year-round with both
the lake and the mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop,
Lake Taupo is guaranteed to delight.
Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its local food and wine, and the Art Deco
architecture and culture of the main city of Napier which was rebuilt after
an earthquake in 1931. Out of the city, there is an abundance of outdoor
3. Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary
Top Courses of the Taupo &
Hawke’s Bay regions
1. Cape Kidnappers
New Zealand’s first resort/championship course has developed into
a delightful mature course set in thick native forest away from the
crowds. Also known as Wairakei International, it is consistently
ranked in the world top 100 lists. Five-time British Open winner
and co-designer Peter Thomson contributed to the innovative hole
TOP 12 COURSE
Cape Kidnappers is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular and
challenging golf courses. This cliff-top beauty on the North Island’s
rugged east coast, has been described by a leading US golf writer as
“one of the most compelling modern layouts in golf with unforgettable
2. The Kinloch Club
TOP 12 COURSE
Located on the northern shores of Lake Taupo, a fifteen minute
drive from Taupo town, The Kinloch Club is the only Jack Nicklaus
Signature Golf Course in New Zealand. Open all year round with
readily available tee times, Kinloch is revered as a challenge that
will test all aspects of your game.
TOP 12 COURSE
4. Taupo Golf Club
Taupo’s local course is very different from its famous near neighbours
Kinloch and Wairakei. The long course includes a New Zealand version
of Augusta’s famous ‘Amen Corner’, and plenty of variety in a pleasant
5. Hastings Golf Club
This beautifully set out but tough parkland course is a familiar landscape
in New Zealand golf. It has hosted many national tournaments and
produced some of New Zealand’s finest golfers.
Taupo & Hawke’s Bay
Wairakei - a golf course in a sanctuary - has to be
the quintessential New Zealand golf experience.
Only 10 minutes by road from the popular tourist
mecca of Lake Taupo, Wairakei sits apart inside
a predator-free sanctuary. This could be the
quietest course ever with the only sounds from
the protected native birds and the echo of club
Gorgeous golf holes here wend their way
one after the other through deep native bush.
One of them, the 14th, at 600 yards is known
as The Rogue with every shot challenging and
memorable. In fact, every hole at Wairakei is
A. State Highway 1, Wairakei, Taupo | E. email@example.com | P. 0064 7 374 8152
Taupo & Hawke’s Bay
Designed by 18 time Major winner Jack Nicklaus,
The Kinloch Club offers unique design features,
with every hole requiring strategic thought and
patience. The course is a fantastic test for all golfing
abilities, and has been recognised worldwide with
numerous accolades including a Top 100 in the
World ranking from Golf Course Architecture
In discovering Kinloch, the overall experience
will pleasantly surprise golfers for the unique
challenge that the course presents. It is fair to say
that at Kinloch, Nicklaus has created one of the
world’s great modern designs to date.
A. 261 Kinloch Road, Kinloch, Taupo | E. firstname.lastname@example.org
P. 0064 7 377 8484
Taupo & Hawke’s Bay
A sister property to Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers
brings together a world-class golf course and fivestar luxury lodge accommodation in a spectacular
location. Cape Kidnappers is an iconic promontory
of rugged cliffs and farmland overlooking the
Designed by respected US architect Tom Doak,
the superbly challenging course is the result of
clever design and respect for the natural landscape.
Just like its sister course, Cape Kidnappers also
consistently ranked within top 50 courses in
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is the super luxury
award winning lodge opened in 2007, is one of
New Zealand’s most exclusive and highly acclaimed
A. 446 Clifton Road, Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay | E. email@example.com | P. 0064 6 873 1018
North and South
Island Golf Trails
Titirangi Golf Club
Auckland International Airport
Rotorua International Airport
The Kinloch Club
Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary
Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club
Royal Wellington Golf Club
Wellington International Airport
Christchurch International Airport
Wellington - New Zealand’s capital and government centre - also claims
the title of artistic capital. Lonely Planet has described Wellington as the
‘World’s coolest capital’.
Indulge in fine wine and exquisite food, then take time exploring Te Papa
Tongarewa - Museum of New Zealand where creative technology and
design tell New Zealand stories and history. Close at hand, the Royal
Wellington Golf Club is the finest private members club in the country,
while Paraparaumu Beach Club has New Zealand’s leading links layout.
Top courses of the Wellington Region
2. Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club
1. Royal Wellington
TOP 12 COURSE
Long recognised as the best links layout in New Zealand, Paraparaumu
- just north of Wellington - has a rich collection of classical links holes,
especially par threes. The course is right beside the beach and the
prevailing westerly wind provides added interest.
TOP 12 COURSE
Often referred to as ‘the home of New Zealand golf’ because of its
long history and pedigree, this club has recently undergone a $7
million re-development. The 27 holes offer three different 18-hole
layouts surrounded by beautiful native bush, a river and streams.
Just 10 minutes drive from central Wellington and next door to the
city’s international airport, Miramar was redesigned by Australian
golfing legend Graham Marsh. It’s a tight course exposed to the
elements, short but immensely tough with numerous deep pot hole
Beach Golf Club
The Paraparaumu course – an hour by road north
of Wellington – is considered New Zealand’s
leading links layout. The course was designed
just after World War II by Australian Open
winner, Alex Russell.
Fellow Australian and British Open winner Peter
Thompson described Paraparaumu as a “Gem of
enjoyment, a monument to the game and a gift
to the future”.
Para, as it is known locally, has featured in seven
different World Top 100 lists over the past 20
years. The short par-3’s are a distinctive feature,
often played with a stiff breeze to contend with.
A. 376 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu Beach, Paraparaumu | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | P. 0064 4 902 8200
Royal Wellington has recently undergone a
significant redevelopment and within the club’s
27 holes features a challenging new championship
The entire course is set in beautiful parklands
with dominant native trees and bush, next to a
river. The gentle contoured fairways are laced
together by streams and lakes.
The course contains many distinctive holes.
One of the signature holes, the par 5 4th sees the
fairway split on either side of a stream.
Designers Greg Turner and Scott Macpherson
have succeeded in their desire to make each
hole look great. Royal Wellington is arguably
New Zealand’s finest private members parkland
course with an equally grand old club house to
A. 28 Golf Road, Heretaunga, Upper Hutt, Wellington | E. email@example.com | P. 0064 4 528 4590
Canterbury’s patchwork plains are framed by the ocean and the Southern
Alps, bringing together a wide variety of attractions for visitors. There
are numerous outdoor activities - all well within a two-hour drive from the
Journeying through Canterbury’s abundant natural highlights, is a
Top courses of the Canterbury region
2. Terrace Downs
At the foot of the Southern Alps, Terrace Downs has breathtaking
alpine views that can be a major distraction for players. There’s also
a prevailing nor’wester wind that can get in the way.
3. Christchurch Golf Club
This is the sedate and venerable home of golf in Christchurch, and
a club steeped in history and tradition. In this club, there’s also more
than half a whiff of real Scottish golf, thanks to Peter Thompson and
the addition of deep potted bunkers around the course.
1. Clearwater Resort
TOP 12 COURSE
Just 10 minutes drive from Christchurch International Airport,
Clearwater’s mix of links and parkland features offers a stimulating
round of golf. The spring-fed lakes featured on the course and distant
backdrop of the Southern Alps offer wonderful natural backdrops to
the golf round.
4. Pegasus Golf and Sport Club
Pegasus - Canterbury’s newest golfing addition - is 20 minutes by road
north of Christchurch. This open parkland course measures 7000 yds off
the back tees and has a distinct links feel. The lovely natural landscape is
dominated by surrounding wetlands and Pegasus Bay.
Clearwater lies 15 minutes from the centre of
Christchurch and just a few minutes from the city’s
international airport. The designers Sir Bob Charles
and John Darby have succeeded in developing an
inland course which has a distinctive links feel about
it. One of the benefits of the openness is to enable
golfers during their rounds to enjoy the breathtaking
views of the South Island’s Southern Alps mountain
For over 10 years, Clearwater has featured as a
popular stop on several different international
professional golf tours - from the USPGA Nationwide
(now web.com) tour to the Australasian Men’s tour
and the European Ladies Tour.
Water is a strong feature of the course and particularly
on all four par 3’s as well as the long par 4 finishing
hole. This is a strategic layout with play influenced
by the changing winds throughout the year.
There is a series of superb accommodation options
and an on-site restaurant for those wanting to enjoy
more after their round.
A. Clearwater Avenue, Northwood, Christchurch | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | P. 0064 3 360 2146
Queenstown is the South Island’s premium tourist destination. It offers
three championship golf courses along with at least six other top class
Adventure tourism has long been a key focal attraction offering
everything from bungy-jumping , jetboating, skiing to white water
rafting in and around Queenstown. The region is now also home to
world class vineyards and hospitality experiences.
Southland - New Zealand’s most southern region - is a sparsely
populated region with vast areas of untouched natural environment
protected as national parks and conservation projects. It was populated
in the early 19th century by hardy Scots pioneers who brought with
them their love of golf and curling. This region boasts New Zealand’s
only indoor year-round ice rink for curling.
Top courses of the Queenstown and Southland regions
4. Arrowtown Golf Club
Central Otago’s historic old golf course features lovely scenery and local
history. First opened in 1937, it’s an easy enjoyable walk in a relaxed
5. Queenstown Golf Club
Named recently as New Zealand’s most scenic golf course, Queenstown
Golf Club sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. There are plenty of
picture postcard holes, snowcapped mountains and lake views to
1. The Hills
TOP 12 COURSE
The Hills - 20 minutes by car from Queenstown - is an exclusive
private golf course that has hosted the New Zealand Open. The
course sits in a magnificent natural amphitheatre surrounded by snow
capped mountains and lakes. It has some truly wondrous golf holes
which snake their way through and around the local schist rock faces.
2. Millbrook Resort
TOP 12 COURSE
Millbrook Resort is one of New Zealand’s earliest championship
courses. The recent addition of another nine holes gives golfers a
choice of three different 18-hole layouts. The series of memorable
holes are surrounded by arresting mountainous views.
3. Jack’s Point
TOP 12 COURSE
Just 10 minutes from Queenstown airport south is the #1 ranked
course in the South Island of NZ - Jack’s Point is renowned for its
outstanding natural landscape and impeccable presentation, offer all
golfers a fun challenging experience whilst embracing the outstanding
scenery of Lake Wakatipu and Remarkable mountain range.
6. Cromwell Golf Club
One of New Zealand’s best country golf courses, the Cromwell Golf
Club offers a delightful rural golfing experience. The course sits on
the shores of Lake Dunstan and locals will make visitors feel very
much at home.
7. Oreti Sands
Oreti Sands - just 10 minutes by car from Invercargill - is the world’s
southernmost 18-hole golf course. With large greens among rolling
dunes and expansive views of the Southern Ocean, players on this
delightful old links course could easily think themselves in Scotland
8. Invercargill Golf Club
Otatara links as it is known is one of New Zealand’s oldest and respected
championship venues; staging many of New Zealand’s major amateur
and professional championships over this gently undulating sand
drifts terrain with large evergreen trees, native bush and greenside
bunkering providing the frame work for all golfers to embrace.
Voted New Zealand’s leading golf resort three
times (2011-2013), Millbrook’s 27 hole championship
golf course is a “Parklands” Course.
With the recent addition of a further nine holes to
the existing 18, golfers now have a choice of three
different 18-hole courses.
Set in a dramatic natural amphitheatre of bare
rock surrounded by the high snowcapped peaks of
the Remarkables mountain range, a round of golf
at Millbrook is both a test of golfing skills and an
exploration of a unique natural environment.
The new nine holes have been designed with a
common distinctive feature - multiple options
from tee to green. Designers Greg Turner and
Scott Macpherson have laid out the challenge
through their works. A golfer who plays bold
dramatic shots that come off will be rewarded.
Awarded the title of No. 1 Hotel in New Zealand
by TripAdvisor two years in a row, the resort has
plenty of accommodation for those who want to
play all the options.
A. Malaghans Road, Arrowtown | E. email@example.com | P. 0064 3 441 7010
The Hills is a private members club opened in
2007. The course, which has been created out
of a unique natural combination of farmland,
wetlands, tussocks and schist rocks, also serves
as an outdoor art gallery of artworks and sculptures
by local and international artists.
The Hills has a challenging layout with the diversion
of many elevated tees offering breathtaking views
of the surrounding landscape. The course hosts
many significant professional golf tournaments
including the New Zealand Open.
New for 2014, The Lodge at The Hills is an impressive
luxury lodge offering exclusive experiences for up to
A. Rapid 164 Mc Donnell Road, Arrowtown | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | P. 0064 3 409 8290
Designed by renowned New Zealand golf course
architect John Darby, Jack’s Point is one of New
Zealand’s most exhilarating golf courses because
of the striking natural setting. This course has
been created through minimal earth movement to
harmonise with nature, whilst providing all golfers
with an experience to be embraced with its 4
Just 20 minutes drive from downtown Queenstown
beneath the Remarkable Mountain Range on the
edge of beautiful Lake Wakatipu; the course winds
its way through a variety of schist outcrops, native
wetland and bush areas along with local wildlife
which make Jack’s Point their home. With its
carpet like fescue fairways and brown top greens
and tees makes for an internationally presented
golfing experience whilst enjoying the 360 degree
ambiance of some of New Zealand’s most amazing
A. Jack’s Point, Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown | E. email@example.com | P. 0064 3 450 2050
Accessible New Zealand
New Zealand is approximately a three hour flight from the
eastern seaboard of Australia, and approximately a ten hour
direct flight from most places in the Pacific Rim, including;
Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and the west coast
of the USA.
Flights from UK and Europe to New Zealand will usually
have one or more stopovers with the total flight time
approximately 24 hours.
Need to find out more?
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Comprehensive information on golf courses in
New Zealand can also be found at www.newzealand.com
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