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The Best Golf Courses in Australasia

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Written by
Katie Holmes, Jane Dumble & Kit Wong

Australia and New Zealand are two of the best places in the world for golf lovers.

Australia alone boasts over 1,000 golf courses, while New Zealand's golf courses overlook natural wonders and majestic peaks.

Whether you’re an avid golfer or just like to tee off occasionally, here’s our round up of the best golf courses in Australasia.

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The best golf courses in New Zealand

The Hills, Queenstown

Owned by businessman Sir Michael Hill, this private members only club is one of the most exclusive golf courses in Australasia. However, occasional slots are offered to international visitors and we have been able to book some for our clients in the past. The Hills has previously been the host of several New Zealand PGA tournaments. Currently, it’s the host course for the New Zealand Open, alongside Millbrook Resort. Located in Arrowtown, a stone’s throw from golfing and tourist mecca Queenstown, The Hills’ stunning surroundings make it the perfect place tee off.

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Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay

Attached to one of our favourite luxury properties in New Zealand’s North Island, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers’ course is a modern golfing marvel. Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, Cape Kidnappers sits on a ridge and valley landscape with exceptional sea views. Hawke’s Bay is an area of incredible natural beauty, so golfing enthusiasts can take advantage of sweeping ocean views from dramatic cliffs at one of the most beautiful golf courses in Australasia.  

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The Kinloch Club, Taupo

Taupo is a friendly settlement in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. A geothermal wonderland, Taupo’s course is one of the more adventurous golf courses in Australasia. The Kinloch Club is particularly special, as it’s the only New Zealand-based course designed by American golfing legend Jack Nicklaus. Located on a piece of farmland and spread over 6,000 metres of volcanic terrain, the course has a reputation for being New Zealand’s toughest track.

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Kauri Cliffs, Bay of Islands

Having recently undergone renovation from world renowned golf course architect Rees Jones, Kauri Cliffs is arguably one of the most impressive golf courses in Australasia. The par 72 championship golf course measures over 6,000 metres and offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level. A largely untouched archipelago, the Bay of Islands provides visitors with a magical escape. Fifteen of the course’s holes have views over the Pacific Ocean, and six of the holes are alongside cliffs plunging into the sea. Inland holes also offer nature lovers a memorable game – winding through beautiful marsh, forest and farmland.

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The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is the perfect place from which to base yourself, located within 6,000 acres of native forest. Guests can relax after a hard day’s golfing with dinner on a verandah overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or a private picnic on a secluded beach. Sporty travellers can enjoy the indoor lap pool and outdoor tennis courts at The Lodge’s fitness centre. Those after some relaxation can wind down in the day spa, set within the native Totara Forest.

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Jack's Point, Queenstown

With a backdrop of 2,300 vertical metres of the Remarkables Mountain Range and an armchair view of outstanding lake panoramas, Jack’s Point Golf course is one of the most visually spectacular golf courses in Australasia. As an 18 hole par 72 championship course, it offers golfers an exciting challenge. With five tee positions to choose from, the course provides all golfers with an unforgettable experience.

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The course has been designed around the natural landscape, with minimal excavation. It measures 6,388 metres (6,986 yards) from the championship tees and is built on the most spectacular of Jack’s Point terrain. Designed in harmony with the natural environment, the course weaves through dramatic rock outcrop and swathes of native bush to the edge of Lake Wakatipu.

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The best golf courses in Australia

Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Melbourne

Australasia’s most recognised golf club consists of two courses, The East and The West, and the spectacular story of the landscaping of the Royal Melbourne is still a popular topic of conversation. In 1926, revered Scottish architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie carved Royal Melbourne’s West Course from the sandy subsoil of the Melbourne Sandbelt. Strategically designed based on the average age and handicap of members, MacKenzie created a course that is both fun and challenging for golfers of all abilities. Former Australian Open champion Alex Russell built the East Course shortly after.

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Royal Melbourne has hosted many national and international events, including the 1959 Canada Cup, the 1970 World Cup and the Presidents Cup in both 2008 and 2011. In 2019 the Presidents Cup will once again return to Royal Melbourne. A combination of the best holes from both the East and West courses is sure to challenge international players, making for a fascinating watch.

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Hamilton Island Golf Club, Whitsundays

The Whitsundays are a chain of 74 islands, located in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Surrounded by natural wonder, the Hamilton Island Golf Club on Dent Island has a spectacular setting. The challenging course, designed by champion pro golfer Peter Thompson, is Australia’s only championship golf course on its own island. With holes positioned along ridges and played across steep valleys, the course blends seamlessly into the natural undulating landscape. An ever-present sea breeze adds to the joyful experience of playing amongst natural wonders. After your round, you can relax in the stylish clubhouse and enjoy stunning views with a tipple of your choosing.

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New South Wales Golf Club, Sydney

A 360 degree view of Botany Bay and Sydney’s spectacular skyline meets visitors on their arrival to New South Wales Golf Club. Situated on the rugged cliffs at La Perouse, New South Wales Golf Club is a breathtaking course framed on all sides by the Pacific Ocean. The course is particularly famous for having one of the best known golfing double acts in the world – the fifth and sixth holes. Played from a rocky outcrop overlooking the ocean, both demand player precision and extreme focus. Designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie, the course – which has a traditional clubhouse – has a wonderful combination of undulating fairways and scenic vistas, all the while offering five star comfort.

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Whether you're a competitive golfer or just play for fun, speak to one of our travel designers to start planning your Australian adventure.

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