It just makes sense that the island paradise is home to the second highest number of golf courses per capita in the world. Sweeping backdrops of towering mountain ranges, stunning lakes or oceans make every round even more enjoyable.
There are more than 400 golf courses and facilities to choose from in New Zealand, including such reputable courses as Cape Kidnappers, rated in the world’s top 50 courses, or Paraparaumu Golf Course, which hosted the likes of Tiger Woods for the New Zealand Open in 2002. With impressive courses like these dotted across the country, it’s easy to see why New Zealand’s small population has produced top international players like Danny Lee, Lydia Ko, Michael Campbell and golfing legend Sir Bob Charles.
Paired with legendary hospitality, New Zealand is right up the leaderboard for a golf trip or tour.
Championship standard 18 hole golf courses can be found across New Zealand. Here are a few regions to take the clubs:
Discover two of New Zealand’s golfing gems in subtropical Northland.
Don’t miss Carrington Resort Golf Course on the Karikari Peninsula. Nestled between Carrington Resort’s 100 acre vineyard and the mighty Pacific Ocean, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape and world-class accommodation in the neighbouring resort.
Kauri Cliffs Golf Course in nearby Matauri Bay is perhaps New Zealand’s most striking. Perched atop sheer cliffs alongside the Kauri Cliffs five-star lodge, the course boasts breathtaking views out over the Pacific Ocean.
Venture north of Auckland city to Gulf Harbour Country Club on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. The course offers beautiful coastal views over the Hauraki Gulf and provides a challenge for golfers of all skill levels.
Visit the Lakes Resort Golf Course, situated in a picturesque valley alongside natural native wetlands and lakes south of Pauanui. The course is known for its immaculately groomed fairways and greens.
Central North Island
Experience golfing nirvana in the Central North Island, home to the Kinloch Golf Club and Wairakei International Golf Course near Taupo and Cape Kidnappers Golf Course in the Hawke’s Bay.
The Kinloch Golf Club’s course overlooking Lake Taupo was designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and ranked as one of the top 10 in the world when it opened in 2007. The nearby Wairakei International Golf Course is skirted by geothermal fields and natural hot springs and ranked as one of New Zealand’s best.
If you prefer coastal courses, head to Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, ranked among the world’s top 50 by Golf Magazine. With a dramatic cliff-top setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the course attracts golfers from around the world.
Walk in the footsteps of the world’s most famous golfer, Tiger Woods, at the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Course on Wellington’s Kapiti Coast. Regarded by many as one of the greatest links courses in the southern hemisphere, it has hosted the New Zealand Open 12 times, including the 2002 event in which Tiger Woods played.
Challenge yourself at three of New Zealand’s most outstanding golf courses, set amongst the open plains and mountain backdrops of the Canterbury region.
Clearwater Resort Golf Course meanders around spring-fed lakes and trout-filled streams, and is minutes’ from Christchurch Airport. Also near Christchurch is the Pegasus Golf and Sports Club, featuring wetland areas, waterways and 11 lakes.
Terrace Downs is perhaps Canterbury’s most visually stunning. Situated on an idyllic high country estate, it challenges players with 11 lakes and 70 bunkers.
Don’t miss the chance to play a round of golf at one of the world-class courses that dot the spectacular Queenstown area.
Jack’s Point Golf Course weaves through tussock grasslands, dramatic rock outcrops and native forest as it works its way down to the edge of Lake Wakatipu. The course offers uninterrupted views of the spectacular Remarkables mountain range.
A short drive north, near Arrowtown, you will find Millbrook Golf Resort and The Hills. The two courses are set amidst some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, with snow-capped mountains as the backdrop.