A Guide to Queenstown Golf
Queenstown's courses are regularly voted in traveller's polls as some of the planet's most scenic.
Well renowned for being one of the world’s epicentres of adrenaline, it can be easy to dismiss Queenstown as one huge adventure playground. Sure, there are plenty of places from which to throw yourself, but there’s also a lot else going on. One such example is golf, and Queenstown’s courses provide some of the best places to hit a golf ball in the Southern Hemisphere. Indeed, Queenstown’s courses are regularly voted in traveller’s polls as some of the planet’s most scenic.
The remainder of this article guides you through all of your golfing options whilst in Queenstown. Good luck choosing!
Millbrook Golf Resort:
Perhaps Queenstown’s most famous resort, Millbrook is actually located just outside of Arrowtown, twelve miles to Queenstown’s north east. With its location overlooking the Remarkables Mountain Range, Millbrook has confirmed its status as one of the most scenic and photographic golf courses the world over. The statistics speak for themselves, as Millbrook has been voted the best golf resort in Australasia for three years running (2010, 2011, 2012) at the World Travel Awards: definitely one to tick off the bucket list when in the Queenstown area!
The course itself is unique in that it consists of twenty seven holes, so those worried about lack of space needn’t worry. Best described as a mix between the immaculately manicured ‘Parklands’ and the more rugged and wild ‘Links’ course styles, designers Greg Turner and Sir Bob Charles (former Open winner) have created a truly world class site. With five different tee positions throughout the course, it’s suitable for all levels of player, so there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t come and give it a try.
With five star luxury accommodation, a day spa and four fantastic on-site restaurants, Millbrook really is somewhere quite special. No wonder then that it has clinched the number one hotel in New Zealand in Trip Advisor’s 2013 Traveller’s Choice Awards, as well as the accolade of Best Asia-Pacific Golf Course in the Shanghai Traveller’s Club 2013 Luxury Travel Awards. Make sure you pay it a visit.
Another world renowned resort, Jack’s Point, like Millbrook, is one of the most spectacular golf courses in the world. It is also a firm favourite in the golfing world, having been voted the best course in the South Island by the NZPGA. Against a dramatic backdrop of the razor-backed Remarkables Mountain Range, golfers of any calibre can enjoy a challenging yet unforgettable golfing experience. With 18 holes dotted about over 6388 metres of untamed tussock grassland, this is certainly a wilder style of golfing. Steep bluffs and rock outcrops provide considerable challenges throughout the course. You’ll need your eye on the ball for this one!
After all that hard work playing the course, why not pay the clubhouse a visit? With a golf shop, restaurant, bar and delicatessen on-site and outstanding panoramic views of the adjacent Lake Tewa, it’s the perfect place to sit and relax with a hearty meal or a chilled beverage (depending on the weather of course).
Set over 500 acres of land in Southern Arrowtown, The Hills is southern New Zealand’s most exclusive place to play golf. Voted as the second best golf course in the South Island by the NZPGA, it really is a special place to hit a ball or two. Designed and constructed by the Darby partners in 2007 for the New Zealand Open, its 18 hole layout highlights the dramatic elevation changes, waterways and rocky schist outcrops that are features of the area. What’s more, the course is decorated with a range of unique sculptures crafted by both local and international artists. Make sure you check them out as you make your way around the course!
As New Zealand’s most exclusive golf club, The Hills offers an unparalleled level of service. As a member, you’ll be able to enjoy access to the golf course throughout the year, entry to the clubhouse facilities (including a gym and a spa), venue hire, as well as access to Sir Michael Hills’ sculpture park.
Kelvin Heights (also known as Queenstown Golf Club) is a must on any visit to Queenstown. Only a short 5 minute hop aboard a water taxi from the centre of town, it offers easy access to one of the most picturesque courses within the area, and that’s not only due to the backdrop of the Remarkables mountain region either! Set on a peninsula, the 18 hole course is surrounded on three sides by the stunning Lake Wakatipu. You’ll definitely feel like you’ve stepped into a photograph!
Open seven days a week, there really is no excuse not to hit a ball or two whilst in town. It does get busy here though so book ahead. Groups can enjoy both tyes of 'rounds' with Pog Mahones. Starting with breakfast, brunch or lunch at the pub's lakeside setting, you will then transfer across the lake by water taxi, play a round of golf before being transported back to Pog Mahones for that well deserved drink.
Arrowtown Golf Club:
The third of Arrowtown’s courses is perhaps its most rustic and personable. Arrowtown Golf Club is open seven days a week all year round, this course has tried to capture the town's fascinating gold-mining history through its presentation. Each hole here is named after some a reference to the days gone by, and a historic stone cottage once utilised by Arrowtown’s pioneering settlers takes pride of place on the course. Little touches here and there aim to transport the golfer back to days gone by, and it really shows. The club also welcomes new players and non-members, so if you’re looking to learn, you’ve come to the right place.
Queenstown Golf Club – Frankton Golf Course:
Located in Frankton village, a few minutes drive from central Queenstown, Queenstown Golf Club is the area’s answer to ‘casual’ golfing. The course here is only nine holes, so it’s perfect for beginners and for those only wanting to spend half a day on the course. To use the course, the price is 10 NZ$ per round, and cart and trolley hire is also available. There is also a 10 bay driving range on site, and even a putting and chipping green, so this course offers the perfect place to practice before heading to the other courses mentioned.
For those looking for a golfing package where everything is taken care of and tailored to your requirements, you should speak to Remarkable Golf Tours. They will look after your transport, green fees, tee-time reservations, golf hire and accommodation leaving you to simply enjoy hitting the fairways amongst some of the finest scenery in the world.