GolfTara Iti Golf Course

These are New Zealand’s top Golf Courses in 2023

New Zealand is blessed with some wonderful golf courses. Designed by some of the world’s best course designers, including Alistar McKenzie, Tom Doak, Jack Nicklaus, Dave Harmon, and New Zealand’s own John Darby and Bob Charles. So regardless of whether you love the links or prefer a parkland-style course, you’ll find a challenge and a view on one of these stunning golf courses.

1. Tara Iti Golf Club

Located about an hour and 15 minutes drive from Auckland at Te Ari, near Mangawhai. This is one of the world’s top 10 courses on just about every list, and first on some. Tara Iti is a private course so very difficult to get on. The best way is to go through your home club and have them write a letter. But don’t get your hopes up, this isn’t a course that needs your green fees.

Course Designer : Tom Doak

Website :

Address : Mangawhai 0975 (deliberately hard to find)

Where to Stay : Te Arai Lodge

Tara Iti Greens

2. Jacks Point Golf Course

Located 20 minutes drive from Queenstown. Jacks point offers stunning lake and mountain views. It’s ranked 2nd in New Zealand, and top 50 in in the world. This is a magnificent place to play golf. Not only do they welcome visitors but they offer a repeat round at a discounted price.

Book a round at Jacks Point

Green Fees : $170

Course Designer : John Darby 

Website :

Address : Jack’s Point Golf Course & Restaurant, McAdam Drive, Jack’s Point, Queenstown 9371)

Where to Stay : Glenfiddich Lodge or Kahua – Jacks Point see more Queenstown Hotels.

3. The Hills Golf Course

Located next to Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown (Near Queenstown). The Hills is a private course built by Michael Hill (The Jeweller). However they do reserve a few tee times for visitors, so if you’re willing pay you can play. The course has held the New Zealand open so it’s championship quality. It’s located in the Queenston region so the views are stunning, and it’s full of sculptures as well. This is a course you’ll remember for life.

Green Fees : P.O.A.

Course Designer : John Darby 

Website :

Address : 164 McDonnell Road, Arrowtown 9351

Where to Stay : Eichardt’s Private Hotel or Millbrook Resort or Lodge at The Hills

4. Kinloch

Located next to Lake Taupo with stunning views this links style course is considered one of Jack Nicklaus best course designs. It’s a thinking course that requires intelligence and accuracy as well as length off the tee. You can play it again and again and never get bored.

Green Fees : NZ residents $250, International $350

Course Designer : Jack Nicklaus 

Website :

Address : 93 Kinloch Road, Kinloch 3377

Where to Stay : Kinloch Manor or Huka Lodge or Lake Taupo Lodge

5. Cape Kidnappers

This stunning coastal course is set on cliffs 140 metres above the ocean below. It offer stunning views and the course itself is challenging and unique. Tom Doak is the greatest course designer alive today and this is one of his finest courses. It’s ranked in the top 50 in the world on many lists, the wind can make it a real challenge. The earlier you start the less of a factor the wind will be.

Green Fees : NZ residents $280, International $565

Course Designer : Tom Doak

Website :

Address : 446 Clifton Road, Te Awanga, Clifton 4180

Where to Stay : The Farm at Cape Kidnappers or Te Awanga Cottages or The Country Hotel

6. Kauri Cliffs

Another stunning coastal cliff top golf course owned by Robertson Lodges. This one is located About 4 hours north of Auckland, Just north of the Bay of Islands. It’s a bucket list course. Ranked in the world’s top 50 by Golf Digest. 15 of the 18 holes have views of the Pacific ocean.

Green Fees : NZ residents $280, International $565

Course Designer : Dave Harmon (recently renovated by Rees Harmon)

Website :

Address : 139 Tepene Tablelands Road, Matauri Bay 0245

Where to Stay : The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs or Carrington Estate or The Sanctuary at Bay of Islands 

7. Wairakei

This unique course has been one of New Zealand’s finest for 50 years. Built in 1970 by the Government to attract International Tourists, it continues to do that. With a pest proof fence around the entire course and grounds, keeping out rats stoats and other pests the course is a lso a sanctuary for Kiwi and other native birds, there’s also fallow deer roaming the course. This is a beautiful part of New Zealand and the scenery is stunning. The course itself is a challenging championship quality course that will test golfers of every level.

Green Fees : NZ registered players $195, International $275

Course Designer : Commander John Harris, Michael Wolveridge and Peter Thomson

Website :

Address : Wairakei Drive, Thermal Explorer Highway, Wairakei 3377

Where to Stay : Huka Lodge or Wairakei Resort or Hilton Lake Taupo

8. Paraparaumu Golf Club

This links course on the Kapiti Coast just North of Wellington has hosted numerous New Zealand Opens. (12 times as of January 2021). It’s hosted Tiger Woods at his only ever appearance at the New Zealand Open. This is a pure test of Golf with the wind almost always a factor. A sand based course it holds up well in any weather. Opened in 1949 it’s been widely regarded as one of the best links course outside of Scotland ever since it was built. The best value course on the list, it is crazy cheap to play at this incredible course. This has been in the top 100 golf courses in the world in the past. It hasn’t got worse it’s just not in as trendy a location as some newer courses. Based of the course alone this is the equal of many top 100 courses.

Green Fees : NZ registered players $85, International $170

Course Designer : Alex Russell (former design partner to Alister MacKenzie)  

Website :

Address : 376 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu Beach, Paraparaumu 5252

Where to Stay : Greenmantle Estate Hotel or InterContinental Wellington 

9. Millbrook Resort

Describing itself as an alpine links course this championship golf course has been recognised as the best Golf Course Hotel in the World. In a region blessed with some stunning golf courses Millbrook stands out for having 27 holes. This means you can play it 3 days in a row with a different 18 each day. Incredible mountain views and interesting hazards including schist, tussock and streams provide a real test. The last 7 NZ Opens (2014-2020) have been held utilising both Millbrook and the neighboring The Hills course.

Green Fees : $175 or $125 for Millbrook Resort Hotel Guests

Course Designer : Sir Bob Charles, renovated by Greg Turner

Website :

Address : 1124 Malaghans Road, Arrowtown 9371

Where to Stay : Millbrook Resort or The Arrow Hotel or Eichardt’s Private Hotel

10. Titirangi Golf Club

Located in West Auckland, Titirangi golf course is New Zealand’s only Alister MacKenzie designed golf course. He also designed the Augusta National home of the Masters. This is a challenging test of golf, it’s hosted numerous New Zealand Opens and has been one of New Zealand’s best courses since 1928. Titirangi golf course welcomes visitors and is a must for any golf enthusiast visiting Auckland.

Green Fees : NZ Residents $130, or International $200

Course Designer : Alister MacKenzie

Website :

Address : 11 Links Road, New Lynn, Auckland 0600

Where to Stay : Waitakere Resort & Spa or Park Hyatt Auckland or Hilton Auckland

That’s our round up of the best golf courses in New Zealand. However New Zealand is blessed with some really fantastic courses to many to fit in out top 10 list. These ones were unlucky to miss the cut and are in no particular order.

  • Clearwater Golf Club
  • Royal Wellington Golf Club
  • Royal Auckland Golf Club
  • Muriwai Golf Club
  • Gulf Harbour Country Club
  • Windross Farm Golf Course
  • Queenstown Golf Club
  • Terrace Downs
  • Carrington Resort
  • Arrowtown Golf Club
  • Wanaka Golf Club
  • Mount Maunganui Golf Club
  • Manawatu Golf Club
  • Hastings Golf Club
  • New Plymouth Golf Club



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