New Zealand is home to nearly 400 golf courses and the majority of these welcome international guests for casual play. This 15 day tour of New Zealand takes you from the sub-tropical Bay of Islands in the north to the alpine resort of Queenstown in the South Island. Along the way you have an enticing range of courses to choose from. With many designed by well known heroes of the game including Sir Bob Charles and Jack Nicklaus or try one of the locals favourites like Muriwai Golf Course located on the rugged west coast of Auckland.
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland
On arrival you will be met at the airport and driven to your Auckland accommodation. Your detailed tour pack will be handed to you.
Day 2: At Auckland
Collect your rental car and explore the central museums and galleries, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.
Day 3: Auckland - Bay of Islands
The trip from Auckland to the Bay of Islands takes around 3.5 hours but give yourself some leeway for stops and sightseeing. Enjoy the native bush surrounds and marvel at endless golden beaches as you arrive into Paihia.
Day 4: Explore the Bay of Islands
Commonly known as the 'winterless north' the Bay of Islands is made up of over 140 subtropical atolls. If diving is your thing, take the morning to descend the Rainbow Warrior - the Greenpeace flagship sunk by French saboteurs in 1985. Wander around Russell, a whaling port founded in 1843, or take a travel day to Cape Reinga at very top of the North Island.
Day 5: Bay of Islands - Auckland via Waipoua Forest
Today you will leave the Bay of Islands for a scenic return trip to Auckland. As you make your way back down the country you'll pass the Matakohe Museum which has extensive displays on the region's logging, farming and social history. Continuing on, go through Warkworth and the bohemian settlement of Puhoi before crossing the harbour bridge to arrive in Auckland city.
Day 6: Auckland - Taupo
Heading south you will go through the lush pastures of the Waikato King Country. Choose to bypass Hamilton, or if you've got the time, stop in to visit the renowned Hamilton Gardens - a detour we highly recommend. Continue on following the Waikato River to eventually arrive in Taupo, which sits on New Zealand's largest lake.
Day 7: At Taupo
We suggest a round of golf at Kinloch Golf Course which was rated on opening in 2007 as the top new golf course outside North America by the presigious US Travel and Leisure Golf Magazine.
Day 8: Taupo - Napier
The road from Taupo climbs high onto the plateau crossing the Ahiminawa Range before arriving onto the Pacific Coast just north of the worlds finest art deco city of Napier. We have included a twilight progressive winery dinner for you to sample wine alongside gourmet platters at a boutique winery. Take in the breathtaking panoramic views from Te Mata Peak while enjoying a glass of bubbles as the sun sets from 399m above sea level.
Day 9: Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a vintage car tour to learn about the history of the city's architecture - including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area.
Day 10: Napier - Christchurch
Collect your rental car at the airport and explore Christchurch city. Go punting on the Avon River, take a historic tram ride, catch the gondola to the rim of an extinct volcano, or do all three. Take the winding Port Hills road to the French settlement of Akaroa and tour the vines in Waipara for an authentic New Zealand wine tasting experience.
Day 11: At Christchurch
A relaxing way to spend your day in Christchurch is with a day trip to the village of Akaroa, or the wine growing region of Waipara. The historic French settlement of Akaroa sits on a picturesque harbour and is a beautiful place to relax, soak in its history and play in the harbour. Indulge in fresh seafood combined with a fine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Or take your clubs to the Clearwater Course, designed with elements of links golf inspired by the great Scottish courses with parkland golf, more reminiscent of Florida.
Day 12: Christhuch - Aoraki Mount Cook
Today you'll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Follow the road through picturesque Tekapo and along Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turqouise blue colour. Please note there are no shops at Mt Cook so you will need to stock up prior to arriving if you wish to self cater.
Day 13: Mt Cook National Park - Queenstown
Leaving the alpine region of Mt Cook, you'll travel over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand's highest roads with a summit of 971 metres. Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. Approaching Queenstown the Remarkables mountain range comes into view.
Day 14: At Queenstown
Although celebrated as New Zealand's 'adventure capital' Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Head down the Gibbston Valley wine trail, or catch a ride on the 100 year old steamship TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station for a gourmet BBQ and a farm tour. Take a leisurely stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views, drive through the Lord of the Rings country on a guided tour. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.
Day 15: Your final morning in Queenstown before driving to the airport and catching your next flight
Depending on when your flight departs you might have time for one last Queenstown adventure before dropping your car off at the airport.
|Auckland:||Harbour Dinner Cruise|
|Hop on Hop off Explorer Bus|
|Bay of Islands:||Waitangi Golf Club|
|Kauri Cliffs Golf Course|
|Taupo:||Maori Rock Carving Cruise|
|Kinloch Golf Course|
|Taupo Golf Club|
|Cape Kidnappers Golf Course|
|Grape Escape Wine Tour|
|Christchurch:||Akaroa Day Tour & Harbour Cruise|
|Hot Air Balloon Ride|
|4WD Farm Tour|
|Mount Cook:||Dark Sky Stargazing|
|Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre|
|Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing|
|Top of the Glacier Heli-Hike|
|Queenstown:||TSS Earnslaw Cruise including BBQ Dinner & Farm Tour|
|Millbrook Golf Course|