Travel bucket list idea:
Arikikapakapa Rotorua Golf Course
Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand|arikikapakapagolfrotorua.co.nz
Rotorua Golf Club – or to give it its proper name, Arikikapakapa (after the reserve where it is located) is one of New Zealand’s most individual courses. It is built on a unique landscape whose predominant features include bubbling mud pools, sulphur mounds, warm water streams and – next to the 14th hole – a huge thermal crater.
Not only are you playing around some interesting geological features, but the porous pumice stone drains water very quickly, and the par-70 links-style course is back on its feet in no time, even after a heavy downpour.
A major refurb in the 1990s resulted in reconstructed greens at the century-plus-old course and a redesigned par 3 14th – even if the par 3 9th is the most famous (it has featured on a Kiwi postage stamp).
The toughest test is the long par four 3rd, where you drive just short of a hot creek and then fire your longish second into a raised green that slopes viciously to the left. Avoid the thermal trouble and your reward on the 18th is a stunning view from the elevated tee box across the thermal reserve.
Getting there & doing it
The golf course is 1 mile south of Rotorua city centre. Guests are welcome and you don’t need to book too far in advance to secure a tee time.
When to do it
The course is open all year round, seven days a week, but the best time to play is during the southern hemisphere summer. If you tee off early in the morning the lake around the 14th, 15th and 16th holes has steam coming off it.
Round-ups that include this experience