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My husband and I are both avid international golfers, but I know for many of my clients, this isn’t always the case. What I tend to see with couples is one golf lover and one partner who’d rather be at the spa. Luckily for them, New Zealand offers some exceptional luxury lodges that appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike. The scenery alone should put these places at the top of your must-visit list!
While the golf lovers in your party play award-winning courses, you can relax in luxurious spas, enjoy exquisite 5-star dining, explore the diverse landscapes on nature walks, and simply escape day-to-day life in an inspiring New Zealand oasis.
Cape Kidnappers is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in New Zealand’s dramatic coastal scenery, perched atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This par 71 course, designed by Tom Doak, is always near the top of the world golf course rankings. Even non-golfers will find the rolling hills, sea cliffs, rare bird colonies, and clear ocean views rewarding.
Sharing the property with the golf course, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers an impeccable 5-star lodge experience, including a beautiful spa, gourmet dining, and an impressive wine cellar. Outdoor activities are abundant on foot, on the water, by 4WD vehicle, and even on quad bikes. You must take the scenic nature walk to view kiwi birds in the wild and hold them in your hands! Plus, world-class wineries in Hawke’s Bay are just a short drive away.
This is another of our favorite golf courses and luxury lodges in New Zealand. A sister property of Cape Kidnappers, this award-winning course overlooks the absolutely breathtaking Cavalli Islands huddled off the coast of the Bay of Islands. Like Cape Kidnappers, Kauri Cliffs is also consistently ranked in the top 100 courses.
Meanwhile, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs gives you a true sense of New Zealand coastal beauty. With a stunning infinity pool, 3 private swimming beaches, mountain bikes, horse riding, fishing, and more, you’ll be able to explore this beautiful and remote area at any level of activity.
The Kinloch golf course takes full advantage of its exceptional natural landscape, creating a beautiful course that presents unique challenges for all players. It will remind many of an Irish links course. The designers have also committed to making sure the natural flora still flourishes in the area.
At the Clubhouse, you can refresh with a steam and sauna after a round of golf, then join your fellow golfers for camaraderie, conversation, and frosty beverages. Kinloch’s exclusive 3 guest cottages (yes, only 3) provide a tranquil oasis where you can fully relax and feel at home in your beautiful surroundings.
Millbrook Resort is a destination in and of itself, located on 500 acres of gorgeous scenery provided by the surrounding mountain ranges. Millbrook is another golf course that truly enhances its natural environment with a 27-hole course shaped by the rugged landscape. Millbrook Resort also boasts award-winning dining and spa experiences.
Millbrook is less than a 30-minute drive from Queenstown—New Zealand’s adventure capital. So when you’re not golfing, you can get your adrenaline pumping with bungy jumping, skydiving, jet boating, and much more.
The newest kid on the block, Tara Iti is garnering worldwide attention in the golf press, and will certainly be ranked in the top 100 this year. It’s also one of the most exclusive golf courses around: non-members need a letter of introduction in order to be considered, and they can only visit once. The Tom Doak-designed links course features fun and unique challenges that will certainly leave a lasting impression. Non-golfers will want to play a round just to see the breathtaking ocean views.
Visitors to Tara Iti must stay onsite in one of the ultra-modern luxury cottages (I recommend staying at least 2 nights). If you can visit this exclusive golf club, it’s certainly an opportunity you won’t want to pass up! And you’d better hurry, because we’re not sure how long they will stay open to visitors.
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