Many find sanctuary on a golf course, but it is rare to find a golf course that is a sanctuary - Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary is thought to have scored a world first! Skilfully designed to blend with the natural rolling countryside and developed to meet the rigorous design standards for world class championship competition.
Officially opened February 1970 by the Tourist Hotel Corporation. Special guests including the Minister of Tourism Hon. H. J Walker were invited to an exhibition match followed by a celebratory luncheon. Today, the basic layout of the golf course remains true to the original design of Commander John Harris, Michael Wolveridge and Peter Thomson. Ownership has changed but the drive to provide a world class golfing experience continues. There have been many enhancements to the golf course environment including a strong focus on conservation and providing a predator free sanctuary for wildlife.
Since 2012, Wairakei has worked closely with the Department of Conservation to develop conservation and restoration opportunities for native birds and wildlife to thrive. This includes using the predator free environment as a creche for kiwi chicks and a retirement home for retired breeding takahe. The takahe pairs have enjoyed sanctuary life so much there have been takahe chicks in the last few years. A variety of wildlife flourish within the sanctuary, mixed colour pheasants, guinea fowl, pekin ducks, fallow deer and a pair of karearea (NZ Falcon) that have nested and raised their chicks for many years.
Early 2020, Wairakei celebrated 50 years and the completion of a robust green restoration project. The magnificent putting surface of the new greens complement the beauty of the course and sanctuary environment. Navigate your way through 18 testing holes of exceptional beauty. Listen to the cacophony of birdlife, the meandering streams, and delightful waterfalls …
Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary is a truly unique golfing experience that cannot be missed.