The majestic scenery of New Zealand’s South Island provides the backdrop for some of the most memorable golf course locations, all accessible to the golfing enthusiast.
Tourists from all over the world visit New Zealand’s South Island to enjoy its grandeur. The Southern Alps dominate the landscape, their mighty peaks towering over deep clear lakes, fiords and glaciers. Native forests adorn their western flanks, while extensive farms and vineyards lie to the east. In the shadows of this great mountain range, the countryside offers up some special New Zealand travel experiences for the golfer.
Some of the South Island’s Best Golf Courses
The well-planned city of Christchurch is made for golf, and there are courses for everyone. Clearwater Golf Resort combines a 72 hole championship course with world class support facilities and a range of quality accommodation options. Home of the New Zealand PGA, the course is set among a series of trout-filled lakes and streams, with views across the Canterbury Plains to the mountains. Top-rating courses conveniently located close to the amenities of the Garden City include Russley Golf Club and Shirley Golf Club.
Just an hour’s drive from Christchurch is Terrace Down Resort, overlooking the Rakaia River near Mount Hutt skifield. When not golfing, guests staying at Terrace Downs have countless other options for outdoor activity in the high country, and the accommodation is five star.
Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, and has some of the best views from a golf course imaginable. Millbrook Resort on the road to Arrowtown, designed by New Zealand golfing great Sir Bob Charles, is a quality, well-established and popular golfing holiday destination. Kelvin Heights, home of the Queenstown Golf Club, nestles beneath the Remarkables Range overlooking beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
More Places to Play Golf in the South Island
Dunedin’s Balmacewen Golf Course is base for the oldest golf club in the Southern Hemisphere. Otago Golf Club was formed in 1871, and now boasts a unique course for playing a mix of parkland and links golf. The world’s southernmost city Invercargill has its championship course at Otatara, while at the other end of the island, Greenacres Golf Club sits on a small island with causeway access in Nelson Bay. The club has adjoining motel accommodation.
Hamner Springs in North Canterbury is a popular tourist destination all year round, and the golf course there is a key attraction. Like at so many South island venues, golfers get spectacular mountain views from all parts of the course. Visitors to Kaikoura for the whale watching and dolphin encounters can play at the Kowhai links course, nested between the Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean.
Across on the West Coast, Westport, Hokitika, Greymouth and Reefton all have good quality and inexpensive venues for a game.
These are just some of the golf courses located in stunning locations on the scenic South Island. There are well-groomed courses to suit every level of play and every level of devotion to the game, all close to the popular tourist trails. Whether the visitor is planning a high-end, focused golfing tour of New Zealand, is a club player looking for new golfing experences further afield, or a casual player seeking some fun and variety in their family holiday activities, South Island golfing has it all.
Everyone is Welcome to Play Golf in New Zealand
A feature of golfing New Zealand is the warm welcome that club members invariably extend to visitors. Golf is very popular, the New Zealand Golf website stating that 482,00 people over 18 years of age play the game, that’s in a country of just four million. It is the most popular sport for men and second most popular for women. Members of New Zealand golf clubs take pride in what they have, and are always keen to share it with others who are visiting, whether from near or far.