Wairakei GC offers playing golf in a real wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary has over 25,000 trees to encourage amazing bird life as well as multi-colored pheasants, Pekin ducks, guinea fowl, fallow deer, the New Zealand falcon known as the “kārearea”, as well as one home for the flightless and endangered kiwi birds and “takahe” birds.
The Tui Bird Wairakei GC image Wairakei GC
As you travel from the pro shop to the practice tee you pass through an automatic gate of a 7-foot-high “Xcluder” fence which surrounds the golf course designed to keep predators like possums, stoats, weasels, etc. away from this sanctuary.
As you play the first five holes you experience sounds of rippling waterfalls, Tui birds singing and whistling, and rushing water over creek rocks.
View looking back from the 6th green Wairakei GC Image Wairakei GC
You continue to climb over this 7065-yard par 72 course to the elevated 6th tee, a very difficult 434-yard par 4. The hole is easier if you can hit it past the downslope (about 230 yards from the tee). That is a wild multi-colored pheasant on the green in the above picture.
The back nine is different from the front nine and the drama begins on the 330-yard par 4 11th tee as you tee off from an elevated tee box and then a difficult second shot which can easily run off the sides of the dome-shaped green. There’s a stream in front guarding against short shots and forest behind guarding against long shots.
The cart path spirals up to an even higher elevated 296-yard short par 4 12th tee where most players lay up short of the water shown in the picture above.
The next hole, the par 4 13th is relatively open and flat giving us a much-needed break from navigating the difficult holes we played up to this point.
We approached the 14th tee (the signature hole), a 548-yard par 5 and there were several deer who scampered away as we approached. There’s a large tree in the middle of the 14th fairway on this a very interesting par 5. If your drive is long enough (mine wasn’t) you should hit to the right of the tree for an easier third shot into the green.
After finishing the 14th, you arrive at the 15th tee and look down at the green 192 yards away. The areas around the front bunkers are sloped to drain nearby shots into them so you have to be careful.
The 16th and 18th holes also have elevated tee boxes, making both holes enjoyable to view the beautiful surroundings.
Wairakei offers a memorable natural golf round through the lush landscape of New Zealand where we enjoyed the amazing wildlife of this beautiful country as well as a very interesting golf experience.
Wairakei in Taupo rates very highly of our favourite NZ courses, even though we played it the day after 3 games at the astonishing Cape Kidnappers. We absolutely loved the place. It is just beautiful & a very different experience to anywhere else we played in NZ. Wonderfully manicured with attractive streams and ponds, stunning trees & clever bunkering throughout. No weak holes and all in all a terrific golf course.
Fab golf course consistently in pristine condition & to add to the experience it's a nature reserve.
Inside the property fence ( rodent proof) are Kiwi, Deer & many other bird wildlife living without predators.
An amazing place..
Living Art .
If you are anywhere near Lake Taupo NZ
Wairakei is a must play.