For the serious golfer looking to play some world-class courses, New Zealand’s North Island has plenty to offer. Equally, the keen club player and the casual golfer can make the most of their New Zealand travel by allowing time in their itinerary for a few rounds. Whatever the budget or skill level the North Island has plenty of accessible options to consider.
Upper and Central North island Golf Courses
New Zealand’s largest city and the gateway for most overseas visitors is Auckland. Within a radius of 50 km of the central city are numerous superb and popular courses of the highest standard, including the premier Gulf Harbour and Formosa.
Three hours’ drive from Auckland in sub-tropical Northland lie the prestigious Kauri Cliffs. Overlooking beautiful Matauri Bay and the Cavalli Islands beyond, Kauri Cliffs is a 72 par, 6,510 metre championship course, with five star lodge accommodation attached.
Travelling south of Auckland, Wairakei International Golf Course is located in the central North Island between the tourist attractions of Rotorua and Lake Taupo. The Wairakei course has a long history, and was one of New Zealand’s first courses of international standard. Just across the road is the large and family-friendly Wairakei Resort complex, which has its own 9-hole course with green fees of just $12.00.
The facilities at Wairakei illustrate the ease with which visitors of all ages and golfing ability can enjoy the game in New Zealand.
Lower North Island Golf Courses
Cape Kidnappers is situated on the North Island’s east coast in Hawkes Bay, home of high quality wines and the art deco architecture of Napier. The course developed in 2004 and bearing the name of this famous landmark has an absolutely stunning outlook over the Pacific Ocean. This challenging par 71 course, which also has its own luxury accommodation, is consistently ranked in the world’s top tier of golfing experiences.
Golfers in the Wellington region are blessed with a wide variety of excellent courses. Paraparaumu is a links course set in coastal dune land less than an hour north of the city. Many New Zealand Opens have been played at Paraparaumu over the years, the latest in 2002.
Golf in the North Island Provinces
The North Island’s provincial cities all boast superb courses and active golf clubs. New Plymouth Golf Club is at Ngamotu, a coastal location like so many other North Island courses. This one faces west towards the Tasman Sea. Rotorua Golf Club is based at the superbly presented Arikikapakapa, while Hamilton Golf Club has its St Andrews.
Among the smaller North Island centres, Te Awamutu’s course has a tranquil feel with open, tree-lined, rolling fairways, Kaitaia’s sits parallel to the pounding surf of Ninety Mile Beach, while Waiouru boasts New Zealand’s highest course, overlooked by snow-capped Mount Ruapehu.
City and Country Golf Courses for Everyone
While there are a number of premier options to tempt the serious golfer to the North Island, those for whom golf is not the primary reason for their holiday also have numerous opportunities to golf the great New Zealand outdoors. Every town and district they travel through can be guaranteed to have its own golf club. In fact the New Zealand Golf website suggests that a course is never more than 45 minutes away.
Golf courses in New Zealand, where the climate is generally kind to followers of outdoor pursuits, are maintained to a high standard, and some of the best are available for play at amazingly attractive prices. The national average cost of green fees for affiliated members of New Zealand golf clubs is just NZ$18, while for non-affiliated members it is NZ$24.