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New Zealand is a top golfing destination with world-class golf courses located in beautiful landscapes including cliff-top fairways spread along unspoiled coastline, lowland plains overlooked by snow-capped mountain ranges, tranquil rolling farmland or greens nestled between geothermal pools and native forests.

The climate is ideal for a round of golf year round whereby golfers of all abilities can enjoy teeing off amidst scenically diverse landscapes, home to some of New Zealand’s most challenging and magnificent golf courses.

New Zealand’s best golf courses are often home to luxury resorts with premium facilities including onsite boutique accommodation, restaurants and extra activities.

Our golfing pedigree includes a long heritage with legendary players such as Sir Bob Charles ONZ KNZM CBE, Michael Campbell, Greg Turner,  Phil Tataurangi, Michael Hendry, Steve Williams MNZM (Adam Scott and Tiger Woods ex-caddy) and Lydia Ko.

Here are Black Label Experience’s picks for some of New Zealand’s best golf courses:

Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay

Cape Kidnappers is a par 71 golf course designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, situated in a breathtaking setting along coastline overlooking the Hawkes Bay.

The Hawkes Bay region is well known for its pleasant climate with sunny weather during summer, and it is also the second largest wine region in New Zealand with over 70 wineries that offer cellar door visits and concerts amidst the vines.

The golf course at Cape Kidnappers is currently ranked as the 33rd Best Golf Course in the World and Golf Digest ranks it as number 16 on their list of The World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.   It measures 7,119 yards (6,510 meters) and offers a challenge for golfers of all abilities.

cape kidnappers golf course

Cape Kidnappers golf course is located on coastal land in Hawkes Bay

Black Label Experience can arrange heli golf holidays as well as exclusive luxury golfing packages for cruise ship passengers including green fees and rental of equipment if needed.

The Hills, Arrowtown

The Hills is a spectacularly beautiful golf course with a location surrounded by snow-capped mountains.  The championship course is set in 500 acres in a picturesque glacial valley and golfers will be welcomed to exceptional hospitality, a day spa, gym and luxury accommodation at The Lodge at the Hills.

lodge at the hills arrowtown

The Lodge at The Hills – view out onto the golf course

Uniquely, the course is dotted with a magnificent collection of sculptures made by local and international artists which enhance the beauty of the waterways, lakes and wetland areas for a truly memorable golfing holiday.

the hills' sculptures

‘The Wolves are Coming’ sculpture by Liu Ruowang of China at The Hills Golf Course in Arrowtown

The Hills is one of the tournament co-hosts for the ISBS Handa New Zealand Golf Open. Held over 4 days, Black Label Experience can arrange up close viewing of the golfing action with VIP golfing packages for play at The Hills or Millbrook Resort. The ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open will be jointly sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour in 2018 and 2019, with the dates for the tournament set for 1st to 4th March 2018.

Kauri Cliffs, Northland

Kauri Cliffs is in one of the North Island’s most picturesque settings, just a 45-minute flight from Auckland overlooking the Cavalli Islands at Matauri Bay.

Set on 6,000 acres, golfers are welcomed to Kauri Cliff’s par 72 world-class PGA championship golf course; 15 holes have sea views of the Pacific Ocean; 6 are played alongside cliffs which plunge to the sea and unique inland holes that cross through forest, marsh and farmland.    Kauri Cliffs golf course is currently ranked number 39 in the world by Golf Digest Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World. There is also a golf shop, practice range, putting and chipping greens.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs was built by New York-based billionaire and philanthropist Julian Robertson and his late wife Josie and is part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux collection of 500 of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in 56 countries.  It is part of a luxury trio in New Zealand that includes The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in the Hawke’s Bay and Matakauri Lodge in popular Queenstown.

In August 2017, the results from a questionnaire by Travel & Leisure ranked Kauri Cliffs as the best resort hotel in Australia and New Zealand, with the Matauri Bay luxury lodge also ranked number four in a list of the world’s top 100 hotels.  Questionnaire respondents were asked to rate location, service, hotels on rooms/facilities, food and value.

For luxury lodgings, you can choose to stay in one of 22 guest suites or a 2-Bedroom Owner’s Cottage. Every suite has its own private porch, bedroom with sitting area and open fireplace, walk-in-wardrobe and ensuite. The cottages are nestled in a native forest overlooking the golf course and the Pacific Ocean.  Property facilities include a spa with sauna, infinity pool, 2 tennis courts and a fully equipped gym.

Extra activities Black Label Experience can arrange include clay pigeon shooting, gastronomy tours, diving, fishing, picnics at secluded beaches, mountain biking, horse riding and bird watching.

Kinloch Golf Club, Taupo

Ranked as New Zealand’s number one golf course in 2014 by a select team of New Zealand Golf Professionals, the Kinloch Golf Club is also rated as an Editor’s Choice by Golf Digest as one of the ‘Best Golf Resorts in Australasia’.

As the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course to be built in New Zealand, Kinloch is a worthy mention for Black Label Experience’s top golf courses in the North Island with stunning vistas of New Zealand’s largest fresh-water lake, Lake Taupo,  and the natural beauty of serene rural farmland.

The par 72 eighteen-hole championship golf course opened in 2007 and is open for play 7 days a week with The Lodge at Kinloch emulating a version of the Kinloch region namesake Scottish castle, but with a truly modern 21st century design concept with schist stone exteriors and luxe interiors of velvet, brass and copper.

A short stroll from the lodge are luxury 2-bedroom,  2-bedroom plus den villas and 1-bedroom junior suites, which harmonise with the natural surroundings of this lakeside course.  Golfers can opt to dine in the main a la carte restaurant with magnificent views or enjoy private dining from your luxury lodge suite. All of Kinloch’s world class cuisine uses produce reared from the private owner’s estate, and adheres to an ‘Estate to Plate’ philosophy where possible, matched with premium wines from New Zealand and abroad.

Black Label would love to book your dream golfing vacation for Kinloch Golf Club, The Lodge at Kinloch, a wellness package at the Kinloch Lodge Spa or a romantic getaway at their sister lodge, Treetops Lodge in Rotorua.

Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Opened in 1993, Millbrook Resort is an excellent choice for clients wanting a golfing experience that encompasses outstanding natural beauty and exceptional facilities.  Situated just 15 minutes from Queenstown Airport, 30 minutes from Queenstown and a few minutes from Arrowtown, Millbrook Resort is set on 500 acres of lush green fairways, rolling hills and gentle streams and overlooked by the aptly named Remarkables Mountains.

millbrook golf course

Millbrook Resort is a beautiful golf course in a spectacular natural setting in the South Island (image: ODT)

Millbrook Resort has cemented its place as one of the leaders in the luxury resort industry receiving a number of awards, positioning it as one of the deluxe accommodation, golf, spa, dining and resort venues in New Zealand and indeed throughout the world.

millbrook resort

Millbrook Resort is an award-winning luxury golf resort in New Zealand

Some of Millbrook’s prestigious awards include:

  • Voted Oceania’s Best Golf Resort at the Inaugural World Golf Awards 2014
  • Voted No 1 Hotel in New Zealand in the ‘Top Hotel category’ in TripAdvisors’ Traveller’s Choice Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Awarded Qualmark Enviro Gold status with Qualmark New Zealand 2014

The Resort offers something for everyone, regardless of interests or seasons. Perhaps you seek a golfing weekend with friends or business clientele, a romantic weekend getaway or a family escape?  Millbrook Resort offers a 27-hole championship golf course, 4 onsite restaurants, a health and fitness centre, award winning day spa and various conference venues.  The Millhouse Restaurant at Millbrook Resort was awarded a ‘New Zealand Beef & Lamb Excellence Award’ meaning you can expect tasty, skilfully composed and superbly presented New Zealand beef and lamb dishes.

The golf course is a challenging place to enjoy 27 holes with the Remarkables Nine, Arrow Nine and the Coronet Nine giving golfers a diverse playing experience.

Black Label Experience can arrange additional sightseeing in the surrounding Otago region including popular Queenstown, tranquil Glenorchy and historic Arrowtown. Arrowtown is a pleasant town to explore with award winning restaurants, cafes and galleries located within a small area of pioneer buildings and heritage streets. It was also one of the filming locations for the Lord of the Rings movies.  Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand but charms visitors with interesting shopping, great restaurants and fantastic attractions.  Glenorchy is also another filming location and has splendid natural beauty ideal for horse riding, scenic helicopter flights and yoga retreats.

Arrowtown is a gold rush town with historic cottages, pioneer buildings and natural attractions such as the Arrow River (image: sisson)

Top 10 Golf Courses In New Zealand : Golf Digest

Interested to know what Golf Digest’s 10 best NZ golf courses from their list of ‘Best Golf Courses in 206 countries’ are?  Here’s their round-up of the Top 10 in New Zealand:

1.) Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay
2.) Kauri Cliffs, Northland
3.) Kinloch G. Cse., Taupo
4.) The Hills G. Cse., Arrowtown
5.) Jack’s Point G. Cse., Queenstown
6.) Paraparaumu Beach G.C., Paraparaumu Beach
7.) Wairakei International G. Cse., Taupo
8.) Titirangi G.C., Auckland
9.) Royal Wellington G.C., Wellington
10.) Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Luxury golf holidays to New Zealand are a niche market which Black Label Experience enjoys arranging because we love to show our clients the beautiful locations of New Zealand’s golf courses and first-class facilities.  We can book you ‘Stay and Play’ packages with green fees, luxury transfers and meals that will ensure your luxury golf experience in New Zealand will be memorable.  Contact us today to book your next luxury golfing vacation to New Zealand.

Video credits:  Relais & Chateaux, Kinloch Club (YouTube)