Wairakei History

Kia ora, welcome to Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary is a complement to the golf course and was born out of a natural ecological canvas and the passion of the owner, Gary Lane.

Within 180 hectares of native flora and fauna sits one of New Zealand’s finest golf courses.

Whilst researching ways to enhance the natural habitats of our wildlife it was concluded that a fence excluding all pests and predators was the only effective way to achieve the objective. As a result, the 5.5 km boundary fence was erected which is 2 metres high and prevents both climbing and burrowing animals access to the property.

In addition to the fence and sanctuary sits a kiwi egg incubation facility, hatching over 100 kiwi chicks a season.

The golf course was built by the New Zealand government and officially opened in 1970.  The course lies on 180 hectares of natural rolling countryside and was developed to meet the rigorous design standards required for world class championship competition.  The architecture was assigned to Commander John Harris, England’s leading and most travelled golf course architect, whose family had been involved in the construction of Moor Park, Wentworth and Sunningdale.  Combined with Michael Wolveridge, an Englishman and Australian Peter Thomson, 5 times winner of the British Open, they produced New Zealand’s first internationally recognized golf course, and there is little doubt in any New Zealanders mind that this trio exceeded all expectations.

Navigate your way thru 18 testing holes of exceptional beauty and listen to the cacophony of birdlife, the meandering streams, the delightful waterfalls . . .

The end result is a course that sprawls over the property using the natural contours to the fullest.  This coupled with the 6460 metres from the championship tees and 108 large well placed bunkers, has lead to worldwide acclaim.  It is the natural beauty and sheer experience of the property that makes Wairakei a must for the golf enthusiast.