New Zealand golf courses gain international top 50 ranking

Two of New Zealand’s golf courses have been named in the top 50 golf courses in Golf Digest’s annual top 100 list.

Two of New Zealand’s most picturesque and challenging golf courses have been named in the top 50 golf courses in Golf Digest’s annual top 100 list.

Each year respected golf publication Golf Digest lists the best courses on the planet. Hawke’s Bay’s Cape Kidnappers and Northland’s Kauri Cliffs both feature on the list which also names the likes of the prestigious Augusta National and St Andrews Golf Courses. 

The golf courses are both on sister properties with luxury lodge accommodation established by US businessman Julian Robertson.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Hawke’s Bay’s Cape Kidnappers comes in at number 16, up six places on last year’s list. Golf Digest describes the course as a “stratospheric Pebble Beach, high atop a windswept plateau some 500 feet above the sea.”  Cape Kidnappers is the highest ranked golf course built in the modern era (since 1949), and the second highest ranked in the southern hemisphere.  The par 71 course is not for the faint-hearted and challenging tee shots over deep canyons will challenge all levels of ability.

Not only offering world-class golf, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is luxury accommodation at its finest. Overlooking hilly pastures, The Farm’s spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean are a sight to behold. 

The Hawke’s Bay region is home to some of New Zealand’s best wineries including the award winning Elephant Hill and Craggy Range vineyards. The region is famous for a number of different styles but best known for its Chardonnay and Bordeaux style reds.

Travel Tips
Air New Zealand operates daily flights from Auckland and Wellington to Hawkes Bay. Alternatively Cape Kidnappers is a six-hour drive from Auckland or 1hour  45 minutes by helicopter.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Kauri Cliffs, like Cape Kidnappers, is set on the east coast of New Zealand but 700km to the north. Ranked at number 49 on the Golf Digest list, Kauri Cliffs overlooks Matauri Bay and four of the 18 holes run parallel to the Pacific Ocean above cliffs that plunge down to the sea.

The championship course offers five sets of tees to challenge all levels of golfer. Designed by the late Dave Harman of Orlando, Kauri Cliffs features native rough, stands of fern and intimidating forced carries over gorges. 

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is a post-game accommodation equal to none offering the very best Pacific Rim cuisine and more stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 

The Northland region is steeped in Māori history and is the birthplace of modern New Zealand as nearby Waitangi was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. Kauri Cliffs is a short drive to Russell, New Zealand’s first capital city and gateway to the Bay of Islands. 

Travel Tips
Air New Zealand operates daily flights from Auckland to Kerikeri. Kauri Cliffs has its own EC130 helicopter for transfers into and out of Auckland. The scenic coastal flight takes one hour. Kauri Cliffs is a four-hour drive from Auckland Airport.