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 HOME AT FIRST's

GOLF CLUBS in

— Explore New Zealand 18 Holes at a Time —

KAURI CLIFFS

GOLF RESORT

MATAURI BAY, NORTHLAND, NORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

The par-3 7th hole at Kauri Cliffs looks across Waiaua Bay to the Cavalli Islands. Dramatic holes perched
on the sea cliffs above the South Pacific have helped Kauri Cliffs rocket to 19th
on Golf Digest's list of top 100 courses outside of the USA.

Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort Photo

Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort
MATAURI BAY, NORTHLAND, NORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Tel: +
64 (9) 407 0060    Web Site:  KAURI CLIFFS

-

Julian Robertson has made his challenging vision of a New Zealand paradise for the wealthy into a reality during the harshest
world economic climate since the Great Depression of seventy years ago
.

 

 

FLUSH WITH AMBITION
          We first reported the existence of Kauri Cliffs Golf Club in June 2001 with the course freshly open and many elements not yet finished (e.g. the lodge) or even decided (who would be the target clientele?).
          In early 2001, Kauri Cliffs was flush with ambition, but had not yet earned any accolades. We were certain its owners and developers couldn’t themselves be certain: that the course would play to a world-class standard, that golfers would come so far to play the course, that the isolated course in a far northern corner of New Zealand would even draw New Zealanders to play (with a citizenship discount), or that any (let alone enough) international golfers would happily fork over NZ$400/round (more than US$200/round) to play an unknown and unranked course.
          At the Millennium we were also certain that high-end resort golf was riding a wave around the world. The wave had already washed across the three nations with the greatest golf course per capita: Ireland (
Adare Manor, K-Club, Old Head of Kinsale, Fota Island), and Scotland (Gleneagles, Turnberry, St. Andrews Resort & Spa), and had made landfall in New Zealand, too (Gulf Harbour, Formosa, Wairakei International, Millbrook). Pre-9-11, international golf was experiencing a golden age: the world’s economy was strong and flying was cheap, safe, and uncomplicated.
          You needn’t be told the world changed dramatically in September, 2001, and again in 2007-8. Golf’s golden age is in recession along with the rest of us, and international travel — high-end, low-end, or middle — has yet to recover to levels common to the 1980s and 1990s. Some golf courses/resorts — planned or operating — have gone the way of Swissair and Sabena in the last decade. We are naturally interested to see how Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort — with a history that parallels the calamitous first decade of the 21st century — has fared facing the unexpected challenges of its first ten years.


Norfolk pines, common throughout the North Island of New Zealand, lend an exotic touch to a golf course with ambitions to be a New Zealand paradise. Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort Photo.
 

Norfolk pines, common throughout the North Island of New Zealand, lend an exotic touch
to a golf course with ambitions to be a New Zealand paradise.

Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort Photo

REMARKABLE SUCCESS AGAINST STEEP ODDS
          Kauri Cliffs resort has continued to evolve since our first visit nine years ago. The vision of owner (and wealthy New York hedge fund manager) Julian Robertson for his first New Zealand golf resort is now completed. (Robertson didn’t wait long to plunge into a second, even greater challenge: the development of
Cape Kidnappers Golf Resort in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island. In 2010 Robertson plans to open a third resort — this time without a golf course—in the Queenstown area of the South Island.)
          The late David Harman and his firm Golf Course Consultants of Orlando, FL, saw their course achieve worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time. Harman, who got his start working for Jack Nicklaus’s design firm before going independent, died of cancer at the age of 51 in late-December 2009. He believed Kauri Cliffs his finest work, an opinion backed up by Golf Digest. The publication named Kauri Cliffs “Best New International Golf Course” — tops in a field of 600 in the course’s first year 2001. By May, 2012, Kauri Cliffs had rocketed to #19 on Golf Digest’s “100 Best Courses Outside The United States”, ahead of such famed British Isles tracks as
Royal Liverpool, Walton Heath, Portmarnock, North Berwick, Royal Porthcawl, Waterville, Western Gailes, Old Head of Kinsale, St. Andrews Links (New, Castle, and Jubilee Courses), Prestwick, Tralee, and behind only one other Kiwi course, its sister course Cape Kidnappers (rated #6).
          Rival publication Golf Magazine has its own list ranking the “Top 100 Courses in the World”, which it updates biannually. In 2013, Kauri Cliffs appears at #74 on this list, while sister Cape Kidnappers is rated #38.

 
Kauri Cliffs offers great challenge to top pros, but welcomes high handicap players, too. Four tee boxes at each hole make Kauri Cliffs playable by all ages, genders, and skill levels. Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort Photo.
 

 Kauri Cliffs offers great challenge to top pros, but welcomes high handicap players, too.
Four tee boxes at each hole make Kauri Cliffs playable by all ages, genders, and skill levels.

Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort Photo

AND THE GOLF IS OPTIONAL
          Kauri Cliffs Golf Course has settled upon a length of 7,151 yards (or 6,539 meters, which is the measurement of choice in New Zealand). Each hole offers a selection of five tee boxes, making the long course from the blues play a short 4,897 yards (4,476 meters) from the yellow tees. Aiming for an upscale international clientele means amenities, on and off the course. Kauri Cliffs has a full practice area with a driving range — unusual for non-American courses — as well as practice greens for chipping and putting. The course has a fully-equipped pro shop with all the top brands of golf equipment and clothing, and rents Callaway clubs, as well as shoes, and — importantly for many Americans — electric golf carts. Caddies are available as club carriers and course guides, or as fore caddies to location landing positions of golf balls and help around the greens and generally speed up play.
          As a resort, Kauri Cliffs sells much more than golf. And, while golf’s the lead activity at this leading New Zealand resort, it’s certainly possible to come to Kauri Cliffs and not play golf. Indeed, most of the awards Kauri Cliffs has collected have little to do with golf. Rather, Kauri Cliffs has led the charge to put New Age, New Cuisine, New Zealand on the list of lands offering superb hospitality to those who needn’t ever ask about price. Sample awards from the Kauri Cliffs trophy room include: Travel & Leisure magazine’s #17 rating in the “World’s Top 50 Hotels” (2010), Condé Nast Traveller’s top rating for food in Australasia and Pacific (2010), Travel & Leisure’s “Top Resort in Australia, New Zealand, & South Pacific” (2009).
          The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is neither particularly large nor over-the-top opulent, but its attention to detail — service, furnishings, style, and dining — have earned it top points. Price not an object? Kauri Cliffs Resort offers a failsafe resort experience complete with tennis, spa, pink beach picnics, private helicopter services (arrivals and departures, and flightseeing), horseback riding, surf fishing, sea kayaking, guided bird watching, boar hunting, possum shooting, mountain biking, nature walks, basketball, swimming pool, and hot tub — all this without leaving the resort’s secure 6,000 acres of isolated coastal cliff land, native bush, and working farmland.
           Want more adventure? Kauri Cliffs arranges for off-site trips to places of interest across New Zealand’s Northland region: to the country’s northernmost capes, to 4-wheel the dunes of its west coast 90-Mile Beach, to ogle New Zealand’s largest trees — kauris that rival America’s great redwoods — to explore the Bay of Islands with its important Kiwi history by boat, swim fins, on foot, or by chauffeured car.

 
The 16th green at Kauri Cliffs presents more challenges than golf. The spectacular native scenery of New Zealand's South Pacific coast in the remote Northland region is certain to vye with golf for one's attention. Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort Photo.
 

 The 16th green at Kauri Cliffs presents more challenges than golf. The spectacular native scenery of
NEW Zealand's South Pacific coast in the remote
Northland region vieS with golf for one's attention.

Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort Photo

THE GOLF RESORT AS THE ULTIMATE
UPSCALE VISION NEW ZEALAND

          Notice the last three paragraphs contain no details about golf at Kauri Cliffs? As we mentioned early on, owner Julian Robertson has completed his vision. An enthusiastic New Zealand fan, Robertson has optimized and to some extent sanitized his adopted second homeland in creating Kauri Cliffs. Guests can heli in and heli out, play golf (or not) on a world-class course (and play from the yellows if they themselves are not exactly world-class golfers), and sleep under world-class sheets after dining in a world-class restaurant. The weather should be exquisite: island weather, subtropical with a convenient late-day shower to keep things glistening. The wine and fruit and cheese and fish and produce and much of what you eat at Kauri Cliffs will be fresh, local, organic, and delicious. Kauri Cliffs resort — which, like its sister resort at Cape Kidnappers eight hours drive to the south — had to overcome native Maori resistance when its planned construction was first announced. Now Kauri Cliffs makes sure that Maori concerns are addressed, and that Maori culture is included in the Kauri Cliffs presentation of the story of New Zealand. But Kauri Cliffs is not the Maori New Zealand, any more than it is the New Zealand of Auckland, of Wellington, of Queenstown, of Manukau, of Hamilton, or of anywhere else. It’s Julian Robertson’s New Zealand and as unreal as any über-rich enthusiast’s fantasy or folly ever is.
          My point is that Kauri Cliffs golf course and resort are splendid, leading trendsetters in the world of upmarket sport and hospitality. Julian Robertson has made his challenging vision of a New Zealand paradise for the wealthy into a reality during the harshest world economic climate since the Great Depression of 70 years ago. Go, if you can. Play golf. Enjoy the superb location, service, dining, and choice of activities. Don’t ask the price. If you do, as the old saw goes, you can’t afford it.
          My second point is that New Zealand prides (really prides) itself on being the greenest nation on earth. I mean wears its pride like a badge of honor, like some Christians promote their unquestioned self-assurance that they have got it all figured out. But I’m a Yank and a writer from big city East Coast America, where the problems are all complicated and there are zero easy solutions. I’m not so sure about anything, except this: I have good reasons and bad to be cynical when I meet someone who is absolutely sure. Yes, New Zealand is green. But, more and more, I see that the green of New Zealand is the color of money.


KAURI CLIFFS GOLF RESORT
MATAURI BAY, NORTHLAND, NZ

LENGTH & PAR:
    
Blue Tees: 6,539m (7,151 yards), Par-72.
    
White Tees: 5,930m (6,489 yards), Par-72.
    
Green Tees: 5,560m (6,070 yards), Par-72.
    
Red (Ladies’) Tees: 5,261m (5,743 yards), Par-72.

    
Yellow Tees: 4,476m (4,897 yards), Par-72.

GREENS FEES:
   High Season: October through April:

    
18 holes: NZ$425
   Low Season: May through September:
    
18 holes: NZ$313

FACILITIES:
 
   • Electric Golf Cart rental: NZ$32/person
    
Trundler (pull cart) rental: NZ$16
    
Golf Club rental (Callaway): NZ$70
    
Shoe rental (soft spikes)
    
Caddies: NZ$60/single bag; NZ$115/double bag
    
Forecaddie: NZ$30
    
Clubhouse with Bar, Café, Restaurant
    
Pro Shop

    
Practice Area: driving range, putting green, & chipping green.

VISITORS WELCOME DAILY, YEAR ROUND:
     Advance reservations strongly recommended.


Note:
Appropriate Golf Attire Required. Soft spikes only.

PLACING RESERVATIONS:
Make Golf tee-times via:
     Pro Shop Tel: +64 (9) 407 0060 or email:
proshop@kauricliffs.com
    
Automated Form
     Or, let HOME AT FIRST pre-reserve your golf tee-times
        at Kauri Cliffs Golf Course as part of your
        independent, fly/drive vacation to New Zealand.
       
HOME AT FIRST adds no booking charge for this service.
 

 

LOCATION: Kauri Cliffs Resort Golf Course is located on an isolated 6,000 acres tract that includes the golf course, a working farm, and private ocean frontage on Matauri Bay, South Pacific Ocean, in Northland Region of New Zealand. The golf course is within reach of HOME AT FIRST lodging locations throughout NORTHLAND.

ADDRESS & TEL.: Kauri Cliffs Resort and Golf Course, Matauri Bay, Northland, North Island, New Zealand.
  Lodge & Restaurant: +64 (9) 407 0010
  Pro Shop Tel: +64 (9) 407 0060

DIRECTIONS TO KAURI CLIFFS GOLF RESORT:
FROM HOME AT FIRST’S NEAREST NORTHLAND LODGINGS in KERIKERI: take the Heritage 

Cemetery, Matauri Bay, across the headland from Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort. In New Zealand, as elsewhere, reality is a part of paradise. Photo © Home At First.
Cemetery, Matauri Bay, across the headland
from Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort. In New Zealand,
as elsewhere, reality is a part of paradise.

Photo © Home At First

Bypass from Kerikeri to its end intersection
on Rt. 10 at Waipapa. Turn north on Rt. 10. Follow Rt. 10 north 8 miles to the turnoff on the right for Matauri Bay Road. Follow Matauri Bay Road 7.5 miles to the sign for “Kauri Cliffs” at Tepene Tablelands Road. Turn right on Tapen Tablelands Road and follow the road 2.5 miles to Kauri Cliffs lodge.
Total distance from Kerikeri to Kauri Cliffs: 22 miles.

OTHER NEARBY GOLF CLUBS:
        • Kerikeri Golf Club – Kerikeri, 5min W of HOME AT FIRST’s Kerikeri lodgings.
        • Waitangi Golf Club – Waitangi by Paihia, 5min N of HOME AT FIRST’s Paihia lodgings.

THE REGION: NORTHLAND — New Zealand's northernmost region — basks in its subtropical climate. Wedged between to oceans, Northland has two coasts separated by hills, native forests, and some of New Zealand's most productive farmland. The Bay of Islands, on the east (South Pacific) coast harbors two resort towns (Paihia and Russell) and the Waitangi Reserve, location of the founding of modern New Zealand. Thirty minutes north of Paihia is the town of Kerikeri, a lively, upscale combination of agricultural market town and visitor center. Both Paihia and Kerikeri offer several exceptional restaurants, as well as shopping and other visitor services. Besides golf, activities in the region include walking, swimming, boating, deep-sea fishing, and snorkeling. The region has a large native Maori population which invites visitor interaction at Waitangi Visitor Center, at the site where European colonists convinced Maori representatives to sign the treaty establishing New Zealand. Tourist operations in the Bay of Islands offer


Public Beach Matauri Bay:
paradise outside of the ropes.

Photo © Home At First

dolphin encounters, island hopping, and other guided
water and land excursions. With a low populations density, Northland offers excellent opportunities for car touring to discover New Zealand's great kauri tree forests, spectacular hidden beaches, and Cape Reinga, at the far tip of New Zealand.

 

TRAVELING TO NEW ZEALAND, AND WISH TO PLAY GOLF DURING YOUR VISIT?
Let
HOME AT FIRST make your advance tee-times at Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort and many other golf courses as part of your pre-reserved independent New Zealand fly-drive itinerary. There’s no extra charge for this service.

MORE RESOURCES:
     New Zealand Golf Course Guide
    
Home At First's
NEW ZEALAND travel program

 

— HOME AT FIRST —

Want to learn about other courses throughout New Zealand
including some of the greatest tests of golf in the world?
See our
NEW ZEALAND Golf Course Guide for more information.