The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand


The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
Matauri Bay, North Island, New Zealand

Images and story by Sam Gole.

Kauri Cliffs is stunning. The glorious 6,000-acre site near Matauri Bay, New Zealand, is one of the world’s premier luxury golfing destinations. And as I found out, the multi-award winning property deserves a place at the top of the ‘bucket list’ of every golfer.


Thrilling and spectacular, Kauri Cliffs is simply awe-inspiring. The glorious 6,000-acre property packs plenty of wow-factor. It rightly boasts the reputation as one of the world’s premier luxury golfing destinations.

Luxury aside though, and you are sure to feel very comfortable at this very special place, Kauri Cliffs exudes a genuine warmth to make you feel right at home. Guests can expect the very best hospitality experience the world has to offer.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is located near Matauri Bay on the East Coast of New Zealand’s spectacular North Island. This location in the Bay of Islands provides a wonderful year-round travel destination for golfers. The famed site is a four to five hour drive north of Auckland. Scheduled plane flights from Auckland to Kerikeri are available daily and take 45 minutes. Then it’s a 25-minute drive to Kauri Cliffs from the Kerikeri airport.

The multi-award winning property is the brain-child of Julian Robertson, an American investor. Robertson also owns sister properties The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay, North Island and Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, South Island.

The golf offering at Kauri Cliffs is unforgettable. The par 72 championship golf course measures 6,539 metres from the tips and offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level. The David Harman-designed layout features fifteen holes with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Six holes are played alongside the dramatic cliffs that plunge to the sea. The Cavalli Islands and Cape Brett provide additional backdrop.

The course played host to the 2003 ‘Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf’ match between Fred Couples and Michael Campbell. It also hosted the PGA TOUR’s Kiwi Challenge in 2008.

The layout boasts numerous feature holes. The 4th hole is a brilliant 510-metre par 5 with plenty of risk for reward. After finding the fairway with a cracking drive, long hitters will have the option to fire their second shot for the green. Trouble looms short of and to the right of the putting surface.

The picturesque par 3, 7th hole is a beauty! With magnificent views of Pink Beach and the Cavalli Islands, the ripping one-shotter can play as long as 201 metres from the back pegs. From the tee, the green sits across a deep ravine. It will take a solid and accurate strike to find the short grass.

The 10th to 13th holes are a set of beautiful inland holes routed through marsh, forest and farmland.

Resting in a valley, the par 4, 10th hole is my pick of the quality four-hole stretch. From the white tees and with wind at your back, the 276-metre hole is driveable. Be aware of the hazard left of the green. The more prudent play is to use a 3-wood or hybrid to position your ball right of centre on the fairway. This leads to a straightforward approach shot and a birdie chance!

The 14th hole is another sensational par-3. Named ‘Waiaua Bay,’ the green is located downhill from the tee and offers distracting coastal views. Severe drop-offs left and long of the green await errant tee shots.

The 18th hole climbs uphill to The Lodge. The demanding 493-metre par 5 requires a strong drive down the right hand side of the fairway. The green owns a false front and depending on the hole location, the approach can play two to three clubs longer.

The golf complex includes a practice range, putting and chipping greens.

As well as the world-class golf course, as a guest of Kauri Cliffs opportunities abound for many outdoor pursuits within the diverse property.

Staff at The Lodge are always on hand and can organise all manner of activities. The seemingly countless range of experiences include hikes to the waterfall, picnics on Pink Beach and farm tours. Mountain bikes, guided nature walks, fishing and horse riding are all popular activities on the property.

Kauri Cliffs has three private swimming beaches, including the renowned Pink Beach where regular barbecues are held in the summer months.

Then, there’s a variety of leisure facilities to keep you active such as tennis courts, a fitness centre with an indoor lap pool and jacuzzi and a stunning infinity swimming pool.

Head to The Spa at Kauri Cliffs for a variety of soothing services including different styles of massage, luxurious facials, hydrotherapy and invigorating body treatments. It’s nestled at the edge of a Totara forest, overlooking a verdant fern glen and winding stream.

Each treatment room has floor to ceiling views and opens onto a private outdoor patio with forest surroundings and native birdsong. There’s even a signature ‘Golfer’s Sports Massage’ to loosen tight upper body muscles after your round. It’s the ideal setting to relax, rejuvenate and revive your spirit.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is another calming space. Sophisticated and elegant, The Lodge glows in morning light as the sun rises to reveal panoramic views across the Pacific. The Lodge possesses a charming and homely presence and is cleverly fitted with soft furnishings, warm carpets and blonde woods.

Meals at The Lodge are another highlight. Private à la carte dining is available in the main dining room or on the verandah overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. Gourmet picnics can be arranged and enjoyed around the expansive grounds. With an emphasis on local produce and providers, chefs champion local growers and seasonal fresh food. The six o’clock (pm) canapes with local wines followed by a five-course dinner is a fulfilling way to end an adventurous day.

And, when its time to retire for the night, you’ll enjoy kicking back in one of the 22 guest suites or the two Bedroom Owner’s Cottage. The opulent and elegant suites at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs are located a short walk down a meandering path from the main lodge. The roomy suites rest on the edge of the native Totara forest overlooking the golf course and Pacific Ocean.

The beautifully designed suites are the ultimate in relaxation and comfort and include a large bedroom with a sitting area and a fireplace, opening out to a large private balcony. Spacious bathrooms with twin vanities, oversized bathtub, separate shower and the walk in ‘his & hers’ closet and full (wet) mini-bar ensure total guest comfort.

The 390-square metre Owner’s Cottage can accommodate up to four adults. It’s the ultimate living space—a true home away from home. The exquisitely appointed main lounge opens eastward to an infinity pool, jacuzzi and sun-drenched patio, and opens westward to a luscious, sheltered tropical courtyard. The Master Wing includes a Deluxe Suite bedroom with king-sized bed and seating area with an open fireplace that opens out to the east facing patio, a grand twin vanity bathroom and supersized walk-in wardrobe. The Guest Wing has a second Deluxe Suite bedroom with an open fireplace, walk-in wardrobe and generous bathroom. The villa’s kitchen, outdoor barbecue and cooking facilities are fully equipped if private in-house dining is preferred.

A stay at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is ideal for couples, families or groups of friends who are looking for something truly special for their next escape.






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