10-Day Central North Island Tour
(This tour departs from and returns to Auckland)
This tour takes in Rotorua, the thermal and cultural centre of New Zealand with its many attractions, Hawkes Bay, one of New Zealand’s premier wine-producing regions, and Lake Taupo with its great scenery. Your tour includes a variety of New Zealand golf courses with some that are consistently ranked in the top 20 in New Zealand. In addition to some great golf, you will be treated to some magnificent scenery, excellent accommodation and much more.
We leave Auckland and take a scenic country route through the heart of the Waikato, New Zealand’s premier dairy-farming countryside to the Walton Golf Club, referred to by many locals as a “best kept secret”. It is a delightful, well-maintained country course. After golf we have about an hour’s drive to the Regal Palms 5-star resort in Rotorua, our base for the next two nights. Rotorua has plenty to offer visitors and our accommodation is only a five-minute ride from the town centre. This evening we will host welcome drinks and a barbecue dinner.
We play golf at the Lake View Golf Club, whilst not a championship course it offers some great views, interesting undulations, attractive trees and a peaceful setting. Where possible we try to join in with the friendly local club members which helps add to the fun of the day. After golf, we are available to take you on a tour of some of Rotorua’s attractions (entry fees not included). Rotorua is recognised as a cultural and thermal centre in New Zealand. This evening we have arranged what we believe is one of the most authentic Maori experiences which includes concert, hangi (dinner) and guided bush walk/night tour of Rainbow Springs where you can get up close with many of New Zealand’s nocturnal creatures, including the kiwi.
Today we leave Rotorua and take the Thermal Explorer Highway to the Hawkes Bay, travelling through one of New Zealand’s main forestry areas, providing many expansive views. En route, we stop at the type of golf course that you will only ever experience in New Zealand where the sheep mow the fairways and volunteers do the rest. This small and friendly club is very welcoming and when we visit we play for the Golf Vacations Te Pohue Challenge trophy; this is normally a 9-hole match played in an Ambrose (Texas Scramble) format. We have lots of fun and are treated to some great after-match hospitality. After golf and socialising we have a drive of approximately 45 minutes to our accommodation for the next two nights which is on Marine Parade in Napier overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This evening you can take the gentle stroll along the waterfront to a choice of restaurants in town.
Today we play golf at Cape Kidnappers. Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, this spectacular golf course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. It is currently ranked the 41st best golf course in the world by Golf Magazine. This truly stunning course combines a superb playing surface, great layout and magnificent views. We have allowed plenty of time both before and after your round to enjoy the full ambience of the surroundings. This evening we have made a reservation at the Old Church, quite a unique dining experience. Anyone is welcome to join us (cost of dinner not included in tour price) or alternatively there are plenty of restaurants on offer in Napier.
After a leisurely breakfast, we will do a tour of the region, taking in several different wineries. The tour will conclude at the Craggy Range Winery where we will take a tour and hear about the winery and enjoy a winery lunch. After lunch, we have a 30-minute drive to our accommodation in the somewhat remote location of Wairunga (of which probably 99% of New Zealanders have never heard). We usually have some sort of trepidation when taking friends and guests here. However, we always get great feedback and they often comment that it has been a real highlight. Wairunga is a 3,000-acre sheep farm which has its own nine-hole golf course. The accommodation style is rustic (it does not have a four or five-star rating like our other accommodation selections). The accommodation comprises of renovated shearers’ and musterers’ quarters which have six bedrooms and six bathrooms. The property has plenty to charm and interest visitors. We have time to play 9 holes of golf at this fun course, which has some amazing views, before we host an evening barbecue.
Today we play Napier Golf Club (Waiohiki), which is the oldest golf club in Hawkes Bay, having celebrated its Centenary in 1996. Over the years it has been the site of many New Zealand and inter-provincial tournaments, in fact hosting the first ever New Zealand Open in 1907. This is a well-maintained club course with easy terrain and a park-like setting. Tonight we will provide a farm-style roast dinner at Wairunga.
We have a leisurely morning before we depart Wairunga, allowing time to enjoy a walk around the property or another 9 holes of golf. As we leave the Hawkes Bay, it would be hard to resist visiting some more wineries and stopping for lunch before taking the 2-hour drive to Taupo, where we will be staying for the next three nights at the Baycrest Lodge, a 5-star motel overlooking Lake Taupo, with each room having its own private thermal pool or spa bath.
Today we play golf at Wairakei International Golf Course which is still rated by many locals as New Zealand’s best course. It is a top course set in beautiful parkland surroundings and is a joy to play. Today, there will also be time to do some sightseeing and enjoy some of the activities that Taupo has to offer. For those keen on fishing, the Lake Taupo area is recognised as one of New Zealand’s best trout fishing regions.
We play our last round of golf of the tour on the Kinloch course which was recently described by Sir Bob Charles as the course he currently rated the best in New Zealand. The course allows its surroundings to shape each hole, using the natural features and surroundings. The Kinloch Club was ranked inside the top 10 new golf courses in the world for 2007 by the prestigious US Travel and Leisure Golf Magazine, making it the only course outside of North America to be included in the top 10. This evening we host our farewell dinner where we can share stories and reflect on some of the many memorable moments of your holiday.
We depart Taupo and take the scenic back route to Auckland which will take us approximately four hours. We will have a mid-morning coffee stop on the way. We will transport you to your chosen destination in Auckland and bid you a fond farewell, hoping to welcome you back on a return tour.
6 rounds of golf at a variety of wonderful courses, some of which are consistently rated in the top 20 in New Zealand (Cape Kidnappers, Wairakei International and The Kinloch Club); electric cart hire is included in the tour price for all 6 rounds of golf and also included are 9 holes of golf at each of Te Pohue and Wairunga.
Accommodation (all rooms have their own bathroom)
- 7 nights in selected 4 to 5-star accommodation
- 2 nights at Wairunga (please refer to our detailed itinerary for day 5)
- Continental style breakfast included daily
- Welcome gift pack
- Transfers within Auckland and touring in luxury minibus
- Welcome drinks and barbecue on first night
- Cultural concert, dinner and guided night tour walk in Rotorua*
- Refreshments after golf at Te Pohue*
- Winery tour and lunch
- Barbecue dinner*
- Traditional NZ-style roast dinner*
- Hosted final night dinner*
- Sightseeing tours
* Does not include drinks
Transfers, accommodation and arrangements before and after your tour; we can assist with these if required.
Prices based on twin share.
These prices are quoted in New Zealand dollars and are inclusive of New Zealand Goods and Services Tax.
Discounts are available to New Zealand affiliates and to groups of 4 or more.
* The single supplement may be waived where we have two individual travellers who are willing to share on a twin basis. If you are a single traveller and happy to share, please advise when completing the enquiry form