Waipu Golf Club

Adjacent to Bream Bay this local gem is always in excellent shape and a perfect for a round of golf and small bite to eat on the drive between Auckland and the Northland.

Originally established in 1934 by descendants of the early Scottish farmers who moved to New Zealand in the mid 1800s, Waipu settled into its existing location during the "golden area" of golf in 1966. Expanded to its current length in 1978 this course has recently (2014) redone the 17th. At around 6600 yards in length from the back tees the length of this course is not championship by any means, but its location on the shores of Bream Bay can't be beat.

Waipu GC is a great example of a local Kiwi gem and can be played all year round. As a coastal course its sandy base means the course is always dry underfoot. In fact, the drainage is so good that local tournaments held in the dead of winter (July) when other courses in the country are closed.

Kikuyu grass makes up the fairways (as it does the famed Riviera Golf Club and Torrey Pines GC) and is very drought-tolerant.

Signature Holes:

13th: From the highest point on the course players are provided a great view of Bream Bay and the famed Whangarei Heads. The tee shot is across a chasm to a raised green. Mind the wind coming from the water because it will move the ball in the air, and an over-cooked cut will find trees to the right of the green complex. However, a fade may be the shot to play as the to the left and from back-to-front.

17th: Changed in 2012, like many of the country's best par-3s, this 165yard hole is picturesque. Tee shots are from an elevated position to a green flanked by bunkers on the left side and two at the front. The toughest aspect however is that if one finds these bunkers, the second shot is across a green which slopes from left to right and then into a drop off. Stopping a ball out of the sand is difficult, so it's best to take care to try and make the tee shot count.

Customer reviews

We had a spectacular time on our trip after leaving Port Douglas and all the arrangements that you made for us came off without a hitch. All flights and transportation that you arranged were on time and we were well taken care of at all the places we went to.

The Boatshed was incredible. We met Johnathan and had a small dinner with him on our second night. We were the only guests at the hotel and he and his staff just made us feel right at home. Jack and Jen, Johnathan’s staff, took us out to a couple of wineries and we had lunch together. When we got back Johnathan treated us to dinner prepared by his own self. Fantastic.

Next up was Napier/Hastings and the Craggy Range cottage. Excellent choice for us. We were close enough to Havelock North to be able to easily drive into the town and wander around. We went and played Cape Kidnapers as well. The course was wet so no carts were allowed out. Craggy Range winery was great to us and we had dinner at Terroire. Great staff and good eats to be sure. On to Queenstown.

What a wonderfully European feel Queenstown had. Small intimate streets and people all over the place. The Spire was perfect for us. Florence greeted us and was superlative in her suggestions and ideas for us to do. We did take a plane ride out to Milford Sound and the cruise. We went wine tasting and went to Amisfield for lunch where there was a spectacular sunset. It was so good that the staff came outside to take pictures. Simply wonderful. We took the gondola ride up the hill and enjoyed a glass of champagne while we took in the view. That was our last day and really enjoyable. We left the next day and flew back home.

Again, all the arrangements you made of us came off without a hitch. I even drove on the left side of the road without incident. It’s not so bad once you figure out the roundabouts. Thanks to you and your team for setting this up. Will highly recommend this service to our friends should they need to journey down under.

Bob E & Sharyn B, San Francisco

—​Bob E & Sharyn B, San Francisco

It was a trip of a lifetime with truly unique beauty not found anywhere else. A New Zealand trip requires a specialist who knows the lay of the land the unique challenges of traveling and sight-seeing there.

The country looks a lot smaller than it really is, and travel times are longer than one can assume.

The route chosen by Cristina helped us maximize our time there. I’m usually a do it yourself traveler, but for this trip I’m sure glad I had Cristina at Best of New Zealand.

—Dawn P., Highland Ranch, CO