Gulf Harbour features a stretch of spectacular finishing holes with ocean views. On the front nine the course meanders through native grasses and vegetation and then from the 12th tee has Auckland harbour views. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. who commented that its beauty, challenge and enjoyment is sure to attract international acclaim. The experience is one of the best you will find in New Zealand, attested by their hosting of the World Cup of Golf in 1998.
Immerse yourself in charming surrounds just 30 minutes south of Auckland city, Windross Farm Golf Course offers spectacular views of tree lined hills and lush green countryside. The course spreads over 60 hectares and offers a mixture of flat and undulating ground with man-made lakes and bunkers. The clubhouse and facilities perfectly compliment the golf course. The café is a great addition to the experience with a great selection for brunch and lunch. Thanks to the great draining installation, the course is playable all year round. The course is hosting the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open – LPGA Tour from 28th September to 1st October 2017.
Titirangi Golf Course is situated in a beautiful bushland setting between the lower slopes of the Waitakere Ranges and the Manukau Harbour. Titirangi is regarded as one of New Zealand’s top courses and was designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie, whose designs are notable for their sensitivity to the nature of the original site and for producing holes that offer an ideal balance of risk and reward.
Titirangi has a long history of hosting great players from all over the world as it has been the venue for many professional events. It features elevated tees, rolling fairways, large challenging bunkers and undulating greens.
The Remuera Golf Club is set in graceful woodlands in close proximity to the Auckland CBD and hosted the Holden New Zealand PGA Championship in March of 2015.
The history of Remuera goes back many years but the current course opened in 1974 and the progressive approach of the membership means that the course is constantly being improved. The layout provides a good challenge and the combination of superior practice facilities, a friendly and well stocked proshop, good course and clubhouse make this a nice experience.
Omaha Beach Golf Club is less than an hour’s drive from Auckland and a popular holiday destination. The course, when first opened, was only nine holes but in recent years the addition of a new championship level nine holes and reconstruction to existing holes has made this a very good golfing challenge. The course is bordered by the sea on one side and a natural estuary on the other which results in unique walks as you progress around the course. The café is a common stop for all the locals whether playing golf, tennis or out for a walk and a friendly face can always be found.
This parkland course is situated close to the Auckland CBD and is a popular member’s course. In recent years the course has undertaken development aimed at enhancing the “test of golf” and you can always guarantee that the greens will be of a very high standard at Akarana. While restricted for space, thus not playing long, the work by architect Chris Pitman has been well received. There are two distinct nines. The shorter “inner loop”, with a par of 34, features one of the great holes in Auckland golf…the par three 8th which measures 176 metres from the blue tee to a narrow green with bunkers on the left and water on the right. As the club states on their website this is a place “Where everyone is welcome”.
Located in the heart of East Auckland lies the friendly, supportive sporting culture of the Pakuranga Golf Club. The course features a gently rolling 6,013m, par 72 challenge that can be enjoyed by golfers of all levels and abilities. This central location in a hugely populated area means the club is busy and bookings essential. Pakuranga is a popular choice as a corporate venue with catering and function facilities ideal for dinners, meetings, conferences, weddings and special events. The Greenside Lounge and Bar offers beautiful views out over the putting green, 18th hole or practice fairway, creating a feeling of space and freedom to relax and enjoy.
The Muriwai Golf Links is a true links course offering year round golf. With an oceanfront setting, the course plays dry underfoot in the winter and has irrigated fairways for great summer conditions. There are multiple practice areas for those that want to warm up or work on their game. The Kikuyu fairways don’t provide tremendous roll, but they make that up with generous width. Ice plant and seaside brush frame the holes, and the greens are undulating with entertaining pin placements. When the wind is calm you can expect to enjoy birdie opportunities but like any links course, when the wind blows, this course will challenge even the best player.
Mangawhai is a small seaside town located 90 minutes north of Auckland. This young golf course designed in 1979 on a sandy base where golf can be played all year round. The holes were carved out of the native bush and wetlands with the final result very appealing to the eye. It can be demanding and mixes wide and narrow fairways with undulating greens and suits a game that is more finesse than raw power. The area has beautiful beaches and quaint cafes for your post round debrief.
Lydia Ko's Sweet Spots in Auckland New Zealand
Three-day itinerary – north Auckland
First off today, head to Omaha Golf Course for a round of morning golf. Afterwards, drive to Matakana village for lunch at a café by the river or one of the region’s boutique vineyards. If you’re an art lover, visit Brick Bay Wines to explore the outdoor sculpture trail and enjoy a wine tasting. Alternatively you can find the best nature has to offer with a drive to Goat Island to go snorkelling or just relax on the long stretches of white sand at Tāwharanui Regional Park. This evening, have dinner in Matakana and spend the night at one of the area’s B&Bs, hotels or lodges.
Drive 40 minutes north to take a swing at Mangawhai Golf Course this morning. Head in the direction back towards the city and stop at the historic village of Warkworth for lunch. Stroll along the boardwalk by the river and explore the heritage buildings and boutique shops. Stay in one of the nearby B&Bs or lodges, or drive back to your Matakana accommodation.
Just 15 minutes’ drive from Warkworth is the picturesque village of Puhoi. Enjoy Devonshire Tea at the charming cottage tearooms, visit the cheese factory or visit the Puhoi Bohemian Museum in the old convent school. From here, take the short drive to Wenderholm Regional Park for a picnic or barbecue on the beach or under the pohutukawa trees, or journey slightly further on to the 3 kilometre stretch of golden beach at Orewa. From here it’s a 20-minute drive to the PGA-rated Gulf Harbour Country Club, where you can enjoy a round of afternoon golf. After this, continue south to Takapuna Beach or the seaside village of Devonport for dinner at one of the many restaurants. There are plenty of accommodation options here, including boutique B&Bs and hotels.
Four-day itinerary – west Auckland
Start your morning with a round at Akarana Golf Course in central Auckland. Afterwards, enjoy the scenic 15-minute drive to Titirangi village for lunch. Drive a further 30 minutes to the wild black-sand beach of Karekare, which was used as a filming location for The Piano. You can also take the five-minute walk to the spectacular Karekare Falls. Drive up to the Arataki Visitor Centre for spectacular views across the Waitakere Ranges and back to Auckland city, and to pick up maps and information for the rainforest walks in the area. Stay in Titirangi or Piha –there’s a number of lodges and B&Bs, as well as the Waitakere Estate hotel, set amongst native rainforest.
Tee off this morning at Titirangi Golf Club. Drive to Piha Beach to see the spectacular views from the lookout and enjoy a relaxed lunch at the Piha Beach Café, before a walk along the beach. In the late afternoon, drive back to Titirangi and visit the art gallery at the Lopdell House heritage building, followed by dinner in the village.
Drive 30 minutes to Kumeu and have brunch at one of the cafés, such as Provenance or Blossoms, then check in to your accommodation in the Kumeu area, which offers numerous boutique accommodation options. Drive a further 20 minutes to Woodhill Forest for some mountain biking, horse riding or a walk through the pine forest. Next, visiting one of the region’s award-winning wineries or the Hallertau craft brewery, then visit Riverhead’s historic pub for a casual dinner on the deck overlooking the water.
Take the 20-minute drive to Muriwai Golf Club for a round of morning golf. Revive with lunch at the café near the beach and a walk up to the clifftops to see the huge gannet colonies and spectacular views out to the ocean. Head back to the city at your leisure for one last night in Auckland. Explore the Britomart or Federal Street precincts for great evening dining, and visit the observation deck up the Sky Tower for amazing 360-degree views across the city, harbour and islands.
Five-day itinerary – east and south Auckland
Base yourself in Auckland city for easy access to excellent golf courses, dining, shopping, entertainment and accommodation. Start your day with brunch on the waterfront at Viaduct Harbour or Wynyard Quarter before getting out on the water with an America’s Cup sailing or a jet boat ride. Later, head east to Pakuranga Golf Club for a round of afternoon golf. Head back to the city and visit the Britomart or Federal Street precincts for delicious food and wine and a lively atmosphere at one of the modern restaurants.
Begin your day with an early morning round at Remuera Golf Club.. Visit the nearby suburb of Parnell afterwards for lunch at one of the village’s many restaurants and cafés. Parnell is Auckland’s oldest suburb but these days is home to stylish boutiques and art galleries. After a stroll, pop up the road to Auckland Museum to explore the huge collection of treasures, artefacts and exhibitions.. Hop back in the car and drive 15 minutes to Mission Bay for an evening walk along the seaside promenade and dinner at one of the popular restaurants and cafés. On a hot day, indulge in a cone or sundae from one of the ice cream stores.
Today, take a seaplane or ferry (35 minutes) across to Waiheke Island in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf. Known as the island of wine, Waiheke is home to some 30 boutique vineyards and wineries, stylish restaurants, and stunning beaches and walks. After a healthy dose of food, wine and spectacular scenery, make your way back to the city centre for the evening. Choose from the diverse eateries in one of the city’s buzzing dining precincts, such as Federal Street, Britomart or Wynyard Quarter. Head up the Sky Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city lights at night.
The Grange Golf Club, just 20 minutes from the city centre, is your first stop today. Venture south to the region surrounding Auckland Airport in the afternoon for wine tasting and lunch at Villa Maria Estate vineyard. There’s a range of other activities in the area, including Butterfly Creek (home to saltwater crocodiles, reptiles, farm animals and a tropical butterfly house) and a bike trail through a sculpture garden. If that’s not for you, head back towards the city to hip Ponsonby for shopping and dinner at one of the fashionable restaurants.
Drive an hour south to Waiuku for an early breakfast, then visit the windswept black-sand beach of Karioitahi. Alternatively, drive further out to Awhitu Peninsula to see the historic lighthouse and contrasting coasts – one sheltered, one wild.. Finish off your day with 18 holes at the picturesque Pukekohe Golf Club.
angi village for lunch. Drive a further 30 minutes to the wild black-sand beach of Karekare, which was used as a filming location for The Piano. You can also take the five-minute walk to the spectacular Karekare Falls. Drive up to the Arataki Visitor Centre for spectacular views across the Waitakere Ranges and back to Auckland city, and to pick up maps and information for the rainforest walks in the area. Stay in Titirangi or Piha –there’s a number of lodges and B&Bs, as well as the Waitakere Estate hotel, set amongst native rainforest.
Keep safe – refer to individual tourism operators for up-to-date information on their compliance with all Health & Safety and regulatory requirements. Always follow the operator’s safety instructions.