Kauri Cliffs GC is a par 72 golf course measuring 7,119 yards offering magnificent views of the virgin New Zealand Pacific Coast. The golf course and five-star plus lodge were developed by American multibillionaire Julian Robertson on a seaside 4000-acre site. Robertson also developed the world-renowned cliffside golf course, Cape Kidnappers located several hundred miles south in Hawkes Bay, NZ.
Designed by David Harman, who said, “Our goal was to create a very special golf course that people from all over the world will commend and enjoy.”
As we traveled to Auckland the flight attendant asked us where we were headed in NZ and we told her Kauri Cliffs and her eyes lit up telling us she had been all over the world but the views at Kauri Cliffs and nearby Bay of Islands were the most special she has ever seen in all her travels.
Kauri Cliff tee times are purposely set about 15 - 20 minutes apart to enhance the exclusivity of the golf experience. It also gave us the opportunity to experience the distinctive singing whistling sound of the Tui bird and other wondrous bird melodies in this serene location.
The first six holes were slightly downhill as we approached the dramatic seaside holes which begin at the 7th hole. As I teed up on the seventh tee, a 217th yard par 3, I noticed the island-dotted expanse (known as the Cavalli Islands) out in the blue waters of the Pacific and Bobby Jones oft-quoted remark came to mind, "Many good shots are spoiled at the last instant by efforts to add a few more yards." How true those words were.
The 14th through 17th holes offer a spectacular view and I thought the flight attendant was underestimating the beauty of this magical place. PGA Tour player Brandt Snedeker called Kauri Cliffs "Pebble Beach on steroids" which I thought was more accurate.
The ever-increasing population this world made this a special, surreal and enjoyable experience leaving us with a feeling of extreme enjoyment. This course offers spectacular sights and the euphony of the natural wildlife sounds and views of the unique natural beauty of the Northern part of New Zealand.
Kauri Cliffs in Northland New Zealand is an astonishing place to visit & the golf course has the most spectacular views over the islands and bays, pretty much on every hole. It truly is one of the most picturesque places imaginable to swing golf sticks, but this beauty makes it somewhat difficult to give an objective view on the quality of the golfing test, because all the way round each day I was just mesmerised by the views!
On the days we were there the fairways had been cut quite generously which made tee shots quite straight forward (normally my achilles heel). We were also lucky with the weather, as the wind was never too strong.
We absolutely loved our 3 games, including one round with Julian Robertson, the owner, who was such an fun & interesting person to play with.
I had one astonishing round, scoring 45 stableford points, so it should be my ‘best /favourite’ course ever played, and I can only say that this must show how good Kidnappers & the Barnbougle courses are to rank above it in our ‘most fun’ Antipodean course rankings. It is difficult to rank Kauri Cliffs against the older, more traditional and far tougher courses we played on our trip but it is such a fabulous experience it has to be a 5star rating.
A real extravagance & it blew our budget to stay there but delighted we did, just the once!
Golfing in NZ... What a treat! Kicking off my NZ tour with Kauri Cliffs was definitely a treat! The course is absolutely stunning (some fairways were a bit sick, yet it did not change the overall feeling). The views from several holes (including 12 to 16 on the back 9) is absolutely spectacular and the layout is fantastic! The par 3 7th is one of the best yet most challenging holes one can ever play but if you were to lose one or a few balls here, just look at the ocean and all will be forgotten in a heartbeat. The clubhouse and facilities are truly spectacular too! Overall, a challenging and expensive course but it is worth every penny!