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.

Few international travelers will have the chance to experience Waipu GC but it 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. This course is a perfect example of the country's love of golf and the land screams for the game!

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

The Henley was incredible. What a find. Incredible grounds, the staff was waiting for us when we pulled up, great rooms, lovely breakfast. We could have stayed another day or two. Definitely the perfect place for us to recharge after the flight and a busy day... Everyone has been enjoying the trip.

—S Kucirek, CA

Highlights Of The Trip: Getting off the plane in Queenstown – overwhelmed with the beauty. The boat ride in Queenstown to experience the expansiveness.

The drive from Queenstown to Franz Joseph - the mountains and glacier lakes that went on forever. Our lunch spot that day at a campsite on a lake. Abel Tasman: this is where I want to return and spend a week to hike the entire trail. Spent the day biking in Napier to wineries.

—Mary Jean S., Chapel Hill, NC