World-renowned Fairways

If you’re a golf lover, you’ll be happy to know that the Great Lake Taupo region punches well above its weight in terms of quality golf courses.

Around Taupo

Golf in the Great Lake Taupo Region

In fact, the Jack Nicklaus designed Kinloch Club, and Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary, are consistently ranked in New Zealand’s top 10 golf courses.

Come and enjoy a round of golf in this beautiful geothermal landscape, full of endless forests, rolling hills, mountains and mud pools. Our world-renowned fairways have been built in harmony with the natural contours of the central plateau and our free-draining soils mean great golf can be had year-round.

There are plenty of golf courses in the Great Lake Taupo region. Situated 10km north of Taupo town centre, Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary offers a truly special golfing experience with a world class course blended into a unique sanctuary environment. Voted New Zealand’s number one golf course by the local industry and one of the top 100 courses in the world outside of the US, the course is set amongst 450 acres within Wairakei Geothermal Park. Those who have played at Wairakei say you really have to experience it to understand why it is the best place to play golf in New Zealand.

The natural contours of the volcanic landscape have been used to sculpt fairways and elevate tees and greens, creating a challenging course where every hole is different. The environment is stunning and tranquil and the predator proof fence has allowed protected wildlife to thrive. Many pro golfers who have played all over the world say Wairakei will always be their favourite place to play.

Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary has a bar and café with lovely decks overlooking the course, a function area, practice areas and a fully stocked golf shop. Clubs, shoes, trundlers and golf carts are available for hire, and tuition from two NZPGA professionals is available on site.

Perhaps the most popular Taupo golf courses with everyday golfers are Taupo Golf Club’s Centennial and Tauhara courses. Both 18 hole courses are situated close to Taupo city centre on Centennial Drive, amongst mature park-like settings and interesting geothermal activity. The Tauhara course is a moderate course, being shorter with smaller greens, and the Centennial course is more challenging with longer, undulating greens and more bunkers to contend with.

Taupo Golf Club welcomes visitors and frequently has promotions on offer for golfers. The club house is a great place to meet after a game for a drink or meal and it can cater for functions. A Pro Shop is on site and clubs, shoes, trundlers and golf carts can be hired. One on one or group coaching is available and staff include a NZPGA Professional.

Wairakei Resort’s 9 Hole Public Golf Course is another popular course and is touted as the perfect warm-up for a round at the famed Wairakei International Golf Course and Sanctuary. Wairakei is an easy-walking course set amongst pretty scenery and the resort offers golf and accommodation packages.

Now boasting two golf courses, Kinloch is well worth the 20 minute drive from Taupo town centre for a day’s golfing. The Kinloch Golf Club 10 hole country course is a small, tight tree-lined course with a small clubhouse. The Kinloch Club Jack Nicklaus golf course was completed in 2008 and now ranks in Golf Digest’s Top 100 golf courses in the world outside the US. The undulating volcanic landscape has been used to create a challenging Championship layout course with views of Lake Taupo from the back 9 holes.

The Kinloch Club has a fully stocked pro shop, a restaurant and bar and functions can be catered for. Accommodation is available on site in one of two stunning holiday homes (Dunalistair House and No.2, The Fairways) overlooking the golf course.

Around Turangi, Tongariro

Visiting one of the regional golf courses in the smaller towns of the district will give you a unique golfing experience in a country setting. At the southern end of Lake Taupo, Turangi Golf Club lies beneath Mt Pihanga at the entrance to Tongariro National Park, a World Heritage area. The course is an attractive and reasonably flat 18 hole course with water features and good tree coverage. The friendly club welcomes visitors and the club house is perfect for meeting local players and others visiting the region to enjoy its many outdoor attractions.

Have a round of golf on the highest altitude golf course in New Zealand. The Chateau Tongariro Golf Course is located right in front of the main hotel building and is an easy-walking 9-hole course, with three towering active volcanoes, a World Heritage Park and the grand Chateau Tongariro as your backdrop. 

Around Mangakino

At the northern end of the lake we have the Mangakino Golf Club, a flat undulating 9-Hole easy walking course with picturesque views of Lake Maraetai and the surrounding forests. 

Story Angles

  • Golf at the highest altitude in New Zealand, in the shadow of the grand and historic Chateau Tongariro Hotel, built in 1929. Celebrate the history of golf, skiing and volcanic activity within the Tongariro National Park.
  • Gary Lane is the owner of Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary – a lover of golf and a man with a heart for conservation. Working with The Department of Conservation,  kiwi chicks roam within the confines of the 5km vermin-proof fence until they are around 6 months old.
  • The last remaining 36 hole course in New Zealand. Golfing at Taupo Golf Club means experiencing the region’s volcanic and cultural origins. Home of the Maori Golf Event, it draws family and friends to the region.

Taupo is a golf destination in both autumn and winter. Frosty mornings warm up to clear blue sky days and free-draining pumice soil allows year-round golfing when lots of greens are waterlogged.


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