The Hamilton & Waikato region is the perfect spot for a golfing holiday. There are dozens of courses within close proximity to each other, many of them well established with attractive plantings and featuring views of rolling countryside or in some cases the Waikato River. Thanks to the extensive network of towns, wherever you are based there will be several courses within an easy half hour’s drive, to suit all levels of ability and highly accessible thanks to the reasonable fees. Golfing doesn’t come better, whether you’re on a handicap of thirty-six or par.
Variety is the Name of the Game
The climate and soil conditions that make the region the country’s pre-eminent dairy farming area and perfect for gardening also make it a prime location when it comes to creating and maintaining golf courses.
For a sense of the variety on offer, try the off-the-beaten track courses of Te Kowhai and Tahuna or head to Piopio, where an experience of the farming lifestyle is thrown in free, with sheep grazing to maintain fairways.
Elsewhere, Cambridge is laid out on old river beds formed by the Waikato River 15,000 years ago, making it an extremely dry course in winter. Several other courses also flank the river, including leading ones like The Narrows and Lochiel close to the airport, Hamilton Golf Club (in the suburb of St Andrews) and Ngaruawahia.
Or try the nine holes at Okoroire, with its famous country pub built in the 1880s on the banks of the Waihou River and with hot pools to soak in at the end of an afternoon on the greens. The nearby Matamata course is also beside hot pools, while Te Aroha’s famous spa pools similarly offer the chance for a soak at the end of a round there. At Waitomo, nectar producing trees bring native birds flocking to the course, while Pirongia offers great views – and has the distinction of being converted into a horse race track for one day each year on Boxing Day.
Every course has its own delights, complete with a relaxed Kiwi welcome from the locals – and another nine or eighteen holes not far away.
Price to Suit
There are very reasonable green fees for casual players - check out the courses prior to arrival to ensure availability and great tee-off times.