New Zealand's best golf courses and clubs

New Zealand's natural beauty and rugged terrain makes it a perfect destination for golf-lovers. Only Scotland has more golf courses per capita than New Zealand, so you'll be spoilt for choice if you're looking for the right place to tee off.

Thanks to the innovation and genius of designers such as John Darby and Tom Doak, the courses here are unlike anywhere else set within landscapes that span the diversity of the New Zealand's impressive geography – the perfect backdrop for your golfing adventures.

To help you pick the best courses for your travels, here is our list of some of the best golfing spots New Zealand has to offer.

North Island

Tara Iti

Where better to start than with one of New Zealand's most prestigious golf courses? Tara Iti arrived on the scene in 2015 and is one of golf's hottest properties. It's a members-only club, but non-members can enjoy the course too, but you will get just the one chance.

You'll first need to pass their strict background checks - they will refuse entry to anyone with a bad attitude too.

Once you're on the course you'll find it a workout with no golf carts allowed on these greens.

This is the perfect way to appreciate the full beauty of the course, and you can reward your efforts with a relaxing stop at the Swamp Kauri fire pit near the 18th green.

Wairakei International Golf Course

As the first Kiwi golf course designed to be of an international standard, Wairakei remains a leader on New Zealand's golf scene. It's not hard to see why, with lush and vibrant colours at every twist and turn the course also plays sanctuary to several native trees and creatures. Whether you get a birdie, you will find a bird or two.

Both casual and serious golfers are welcome here too, so if your travels take you near Lake Taupo this is the ideal place for a round.

Cape Kidnappers

When it comes to golf in New Zealand dramatic scenery is pretty much par for the course. However, nothing quite compares to Cape Kidnappers, where the holes are played atop the rugged cliffs of Hawke's Bay. In the words of its designer, Tom Doak "the site is not like anywhere else in golf."

The sea views are phenomenal but keep your mind on the game with the course renowned for being one of the trickiest in the country - and one of the best in the world.

Paraparaumu

Having hosted the New Zealand Open a record-breaking 12 times, Paraparaumu has some serious golfing credentials. The landscape of the course is striking in its simplicity letting nature do the talking. The course is right beside the beach meaning you can take in that fine sea air while you play your round.

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club has been welcoming visitors through its doors for more than 70 years. Whether you come for the scenery, friendly atmosphere or bragging rights back home, you'll leave desperate for another round.

South Island

Otago Golf Club

New Zealand's oldest golf club still feels new thanks to its well-maintained and beautiful collection of greens, fairways and bunkers. Nestled between the native bush of Dunedin and its northern suburbs, you'll find no shortage of atmosphere at Otago Golf Club.

With a long, proud history spanning more than 140 years there's an impressive collection of memorabilia showcasing just how far the sport has come. 

Jack's Point

The Remarkables mountain range is so-called for a reason, and you will certainly agree when you take in the view from Jack's Point golf course. Every hole is exquisite and the rugged charm of the landscape will make you feel as if you're in another world – you're not far from a piece of Middle Earth either.

The focus of the designer, John Darby, was to make players feel completely at one with nature. There are incredible heritage stone walls which pay homage to the farmland history of the site, adding to the picture-perfect aesthetic of this course.

The Hills

Built in 2007, The Hills is a relatively new golf course, but it has earned a name for itself in those years and even hosted the New Zealand Open on a number of occasions.

Golfers of all abilities and experiences will enjoy a round here but you may find yourself distracted by the course's other attractions: the sculptures. This is a sporting site married beautifully with an outdoor gallery, so while the natural scenery is just as beautiful as many other New Zealand courses, there is something a little bit extra here.

Arrowtown Golf Club

A round of golf at Arrowtown is a real game of two halves. The first nine has a totally different look and feel to the back nine ensuring a memorable golfing experience.

Try a round here in autumn when the leaves start to turn – it's gorgeous all year round but in autumn it will take your breath away.