North Island Golf Highlights Itinerary

9 DAYS

1300 km

Highlights

  • Clifftop courses
  • Diverse landscapes
  • History and culture

Proximity

CAR-FREE TRAVEL OPTIONS

Tour the North Island and visit a multitude of stunning golf courses. Begin with Kauri Cliffs in the North and travel through the central north island to play the deftly-designed courses of Wairakei and Kinloch Club. Visit the Hawkes Bay region, world famous for its wines, and equally spectacular Cape Kidnappers.

Finish in style in Wellington, the coolest little capital, home to the Royal Wellington and Paraparaumu Beach Golf Clubs.

Day 1: Auckland to Matauri Bay

Northland & Bay of Islands
Paihia Farmer's Market, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Fraser Clements

Northland & Bay of Islands

NORTHLAND

A place of history, long beaches and giant trees.

Highlights

  • Rich Maori history
  • 144 islands to explore
  • Dolphin spotting

Proximity

Heading north, set off on your road trip from Auckland to the Bay of Islands. Base yourself in the popular town of Paihia to explore the 144 islands that make up the stunning Bay of Islands. If you're lucky, you might even spot dolphins frolicking in the sea.

Continue to Matauri Bay where you will find the world famous Kauri Cliffs golf course, complete with spectacular ocean views.

No visit to Paihia is complete without a trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where New Zealand's founding document was signed. Entrance includes a tour of the picturesque grounds and a Maori cultural show.

Day 2: Spend the day at Kauri Cliffs

Northland & Bay of Islands
golf New Zealand, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Fraser Clements

Highlights

  • Sweeping views of Pacific Ocean
  • David Harman designed course
  • Kauri Cliffs Lodge

Proximity

  • By car: 44 min | 227 km from Paihia via SH10

KAURI CLIFFS GOLF COURSE

Ranked as one of world's top 100 golf courses.

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Set off for a day at Kauri Cliffs, where you will experience sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

Ranked in the world top 100, Brandt Snedeker once described it as "Pebble Beach on steroids". Having played host to the 'Shell Wonderful World of Golf' match between Fred Couples and Michael Campbell, and the PGA Tour's Kiwi Challenge, you'll be in good company here.

Return to Paihia or spend the night at The Lodge, a luxury chateaux with three private beaches.

Day 3: Paihia to Auckland

Auckland
Gulf Harbour, Auckland

By Gulf Harbour Country Club

Auckland

AUCKLAND

Vibrant city style and spectacular landscapes.

Highlights

  • Markets, wineries and unique eateries
  • Designer shopping
  • West Coast beaches and native forests

GULF HARBOUR COUNTRY CLUB

Offering spectacular finishing holes, ocean views and rolling terrain.

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On the way back to Auckland, take the scenic route to Gulf Habour Country Club, the home of Lydia Ko. Laid out across the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, play the rolling terrain while admiring the ocean views.

Alternatively, drive straight back to the city and wander around the shops on Queen Street. There are many restaurants with incredible food – try Federal Street, the Wynyard Quarter or Britomart areas for a bite to eat. You’ll love the New Zealand wines too. 

To stretch the legs, drive to Mt Eden volcanic cone or head a little further, to the black sand beaches of Auckland's west coast.

Day 4: Spend the day at Windross Farm

Auckland
Windross Farm Golf Course, Auckland

By Graeme Murray

Highlights

  • Located on pristine farmland
  • Easy walking course
  • Picturesque landscapes

Proximity

  • By car: 30 min | 33 km from Auckland via SH1

WINDROSS FARM GOLF COURSE

Located close to central Auckland and one of the country’s premier golfing destinations.

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Today, spend the day at Windross Farm Golf Course, just 30 minutes from the city centre. Home of the LGPA Women's Open, the course traverses 60 hectares of pristine farmland. With a mix of flat and undulated ground, the unique link-style course is playable year-round.

If you choose to stay in the city for the day, discover art and culture at Auckland Museum or take a ferry to Waiheke Island to indulge in some wine-tasting.

 

Day 5: Auckland to Taupo

Lake Taupo
Wairakei Golf Club, Lake Taupo

By Wairakei

Lake Taupo

TAUPO

Home to Australasia's largest lake.

Highlights

  • Wairakei Golf Course
  • Kaiangaroa Forest
  • Huka Falls and jet boat

Proximity

Travel from Auckland to Taupo, near the centre of the North Island. Pass through the rolling dairy country of the Waikato, and past Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park, the southern-most limit of the giant kauri tree. Taupo is easy to spot as it’s positioned right beside Lake Taupo, an expansive glassy lake.

If you’re golf ready, visit Wairakei Golf Course. Positioned in a natural setting of native bush, it’s a great place to unwind and relax. 

Alternatively, if you're looking for some high-octane fun, visit the thundering Huka Falls where a jet boat will take you to the base the mighty falls.

Day 6: Spend the day at Kinloch Club

Lake Taupo
The Kinloch Club, Lake Taupo

By The Kinloch Club

Highlights

  • Diverse course layout
  • Ranked in the world's top 100 courses
  • Jack Nicklaus signature design

Proximity

  • By car: 20 min | 20 km from Taupo

THE KINLOCH CLUB

The only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in New Zealand.

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Drive a short distance from Taupo to Kinloch to play the Kinloch Club, New Zealand’s only Jack Nicklaus signature design. The links-style course spans across volcanic terrain and has views of expansive Lake Taupo.

Kinloch is a picturesque settlement, a popular holiday destination for boat lovers, fishermen and golfers. Add a night or two here to charter a fishing boat and relax on the crystal-clear waters.

Day 7: Lake Taupo to Napier

Hawke's Bay
Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay

By David Cannon

Hawke's Bay

HAWKE'S BAY

Wineries, fresh produce and art deco design

Proximity

CAPE KIDNAPPERS GOLF COURSE

Stunning clifftop course, ranked 16th in the world.

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Begin the short road trip from Taupo to Napier, our Art Deco city positioned on the east coast. The Hawke’s Bay region is charming with its award-winning wines, temperate climate, and orchard-lined roads.

Importantly it's home to the impressive Cape Kidnappers Golf Course. The first course to be designed outside of the US by Tom Doak, the ridge-and-valley landscape has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. With its cliffside location and sweeping views, Cape Kidnappers is a must-play.

Day 8: Napier to Wellington

Wellington
Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, Wellington

By Graeme Murray

Wellington

WELLINGTON

Mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine

Proximity

PARAPARAUMU BEACH GOLF CLUB

Considered the spiritual home of golf in New Zealand.

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Next stop is Wellington, our cool little capital with amazing food and wine experiences. Travelling south from the Hawke’s Bay, you will weave through classic farmland. To get in some golf, continue on to the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. One of the most respected links styled courses in the southern hemisphere, and host of 12 NZ Opens, it’s a dynamic course with all the characteristics of its older Scottish cousins.

You can spend the night at Paraparaumu Beach or continue to Wellington Central with its endless list of activities and wide choice of accommodation. 

Day 9: Spend the day in Wellington

Wellington
Kelburn Hill, Wellington

By Ian Trafford

Highlights

  • Royal Wellington Golf Club
  • Wellington Botanical Garden
  • Art galleries and museums

Proximity

  • By car: 30 min | 29 km from Wellington via SH2
  • By train: 50 min | by Metlink

ROYAL WELLINGTON GOLF CLUB

Perched beside the Hutt River, it is considered one of New Zealand's premier courses.

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While in Wellington, the Royal Wellington Golf Club is not to be missed. Rich with history, a members course for many of New Zealand’s leading politicians, it was the first club to be royally endorsed in New Zealand and underwent a tremendous redesign. 

If you want to take it easy on the final day of this epic North Island golfing adventure, visit the centrally-located Te Papa Museum.  Or jump on one of the old cable cars and escape the busy centre for tranquil botanical gardens. End your stay with a walk up Mt Victoria at sunset to look out over the city.  

Driving in New Zealand

Important things you need to know about driving in New Zealand.

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