Perched on the edge of the Rakaia River in New Zealand’s oxygen-rich high country, Terrace Downs Resort dishes up world-class play-and-stay golf in one of the world’s most spectacular and largely underrated regions. “Kia ora” and welcome to the gateway to the South Island.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: there’s spectacular … and then there’s New Zealand.
We’ve all seen the jaw-dropping images of Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs on our neighbour’s North Island – both choice destinations for Aussie golfers. But further south there’s a stretch of landscape so breathtakingly beautiful and action-packed, it can stand on its own two feet alongside the adrenalin mecca of Queenstown.
Just an hour’s drive from Christchurch International Airport sits the stunning golf retreat of Terrace Downs Resort, set amongst beautiful farmland under the unforgettable shadow of Mt Hutt.
Boasting New Zealand’s only high country golf course and fine cuisine dining, Terrace Downs Resort is seen as the perfect escape for golfers of all ages and abilities. Just ask 2015 Australian Golf Digest Senior Player of the Year, Peter Fowler, a regular at Terrace Downs through his tour ambassadorship.
“Terrace Downs is very special, not just for golf but for its stunning views of the river canyon on the 16th and overall views of the Southern Alps,” says Fowler. “Visiting Aussies can expect great scenery and a warm welcome from some friendly, hospitable Kiwis.”
Alpine Golf At Its Best
Terrace Downs boasts a highly rated par-72, 18-hole championship golf course set at the foothills of the Southern Alps. Officially opened in December 2001, it offers a unique blend of parklands and links-style golf with an underlying integration within its natural environment. While the views of the Rakaia Gorge and mountain vistas provide a constant challenge for players to keep their eye on the ball, this is a layout that certainly demands creative flair and a little risk-reward throughout your 18-hole adventure. The signature 16th hole is perhaps the most memorable and will ignite the inner photographer in you to get to work.
“The course is fun and has a number of testing holes,” says Fowler. “It also has some wonderful undulations which make for some challenging shots.”
The clubhouse is equipped with a gym and boasts sweeping views of the course, while the luxury appointed locker rooms add a touch of prestige to your stay.
Away From The Fairways
Golf is not the only reason to visit Terrace Downs. The resort offers something for everyone. Naturally, given its close proximity to the neighbouring ski fields, it’s a winter wonderland for some. “The ski fields are often used by European ski teams during the European summer, such is their quality,” says Fowler.
But if skiing isn’t your thing, that’s fine. There’s the region’s famous clay shooting and archery provided by Newzengland Ltd, jetboating on the Rakaia River, horse trekking and tours of active New Zealand farms, fishing and plenty of walking tracks that’ll ignite your senses.
Also located on the property is the indulgent day spa with a range of treatments to relax and treat yourself, or your significant other.
The clubhouse provides the perfect setting to relax, where you can enjoy a refreshment in the café during the day or dining in the Hunters restaurant at night, where experienced chefs will create mouth-watering meals to savour.
Not Your Average Stay
Terrace Downs Resort offers a choice of two deluxe accommodation options. The villa suites are self-contained units with luxurious beds, a delightful raised spa bath and spacious open-plan living areas. Then there are the chalets – separate four and seven-bedroom houses spread amongst the resort. These beautiful chalets boast all modern conveniences and great indoor-outdoor living areas. Both these luxury accommodation options have stunning views of the golf course and Mt Hutt. Terrace Downs also offers beautiful locations for ceremony sites, perfect for any season. The events team offer a personalised service and are dedicated to ensure your day is seamless. So if wedding bells are ringing, this should be high on your list.
Transfers from the airport can be arranged prior to your arrival via reception, with helicopter transfers also available for those seeking some added adrenalin.
For more information on Terrace Downs Resort, visit terracedowns.co.nz