Kauri Cliffs is the late architect David Harman's crowning achievement: a golf course with rolling terrain situated high above the blue waters of New Zealand. Reminding one of Ballybunion or Sydney's New South Wales golf courses,
Kauri Cliff's ability to challenge players of all skill levels is special. With clear weather, players have the chance to look out across 50 miles of coastline. The view helps alleviate any frustrations players may experience due to errant shots off of the cliff. Finding and building a similar course anywhere in the world today would be a difficult task.
In 2014 Kauri Cliffs underwent a minor renovation via Rees Jones. The 5th hole was transformed (to separate it from the iconic 7th) from an inland uphill par-3 to a 140-yard short drop-shot par-3. Views of the the Cavalli Islands and Cape Brett provide truly a stunning backdrop.
Kauri Cliffs is the original ultra-luxury golf resort in New Zealand and the standard-bearer for service. For years Best of New Zealand clients have raved about the quality of service, attention to detail and friendly people that comprise of the staff and support for this resort. Expectations are consistently exceeded for not only great golf but for the overall experience.
Set on 6000 acres, this remote lodge on the top of the North Island consists of 22 luxurious suites. The property has three private beaches and dense native forest, and both are available for hiking/ touring to guests. Other amenities include a spa, beautiful main lodge with library and private porches for each room.
Awards and Accolades
- #4 Best Courses in New Zealand, Golf Digest 2018
- #37 "World's 100 Greatest Courses" - Golf Digest, 2018
- #4 Travel + Leisure world's top 100 hotels, 2017 (#1 in AU/NZ)
- #49 "World's 100 Greatest Courses" - Golf Digest, 2016
- #94 "Top 100 courses in the World 2015" - Golf Magazine, 2015
- #1 International Golf Resort, Golf Digest 2008
- Best New International Course, Golf Digest 2001
- Plays: 7151 yards, par 72
- Location: Matauri Bay, Kerikeri, New Zealand
- Club pro: Cameron Barnes
- Architect: David Harman, 2001
- Re-architected: Rees Jones, 2014 (5th hole)
- Pricing: Super Luxury
5 different tee boxes allow players of all skill sets to play Kauri Cliffs. If worried not having distance off of the tee, the shortest tee box (Yellow) eliminates all forced carries on the course, excluding a small 25 yard carry on the 10th.
Perhaps due to its height over the water, many players at first feel that they will not have the distance needed to carry Kauri Cliff's gullies only to find the ball bounding up the fairway after a strike. The fairway landing zones are generous so don't be afraid to have fun. This said, the roughs can be unforgiving at times with tall grass resulting in dropped shots with one swing of the club.
4th: Some consider this par-5 one of the best in the world, with players needing to think their way between bunkers and a large ravine.
5th: One of the best par-3s in the country, this short 140 yard Par-3 to a smaller green complex will test a player's swing confidence. From a raised box the green looks like a postage stamp and not trusting yourself will surely result in the ravine claiming another $7 golf ball.
7th: Classic 220 yard hole viewed in most of the magazines and every bit as intimidating as the 5th, with a severe drop between the box and the pin.
11th: Par-4: Inland hole is a nice challenge with wetland guarding the green
16th, Par-4: A favorite of many, this spectacular downhill dogleg and will be played very differently is dictated by the wind. If at your back, the wind will push a big drive over a series of bunkers- allowing the ball to funnel downhill toward the green... which looks like the back of it drops to infinity on your approach.
17th: Par-4 offers the best view on the course, with its hole overlooking the Pacific Ocean and distant islands.
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In July, 1995 the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was destroyed by French agents while on its way to protest nuclear tests on the Mururoa Atoll. The ship remains at the bottom near the Cavalli Islands and is now a great place for divers.
When playing the 14th (a beautiful 127 yard par-3 played directly into the
ocean) keep an eye out for a plaque placed in
memory of David Harman on the stump of a Kauri Tree. Mr. Harman as an architect learned from the best and made his mark primarily in Florida but also provided a real gem of a golf experience in New Zealand prior to his passing.