Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary

State Highway 1,

Taupo, Waikato 2730

  • Office

    +64 (0)7 374 8152
  • Pro shop

    +64 (0)7 374 8152
  • Fax

    +64 (0)7 374 8289
  • Golf pro

    Steven Jessup (PGA, Head Golf Professional).
  • Academy

    Wairakei School of Golf

About the course

  • The Course:

    18 holes. Tree-lined & open parkland. Undulating terrain - several slopes to climb.

  • Surroundings:

    Woodland and open countryside.

  • Designer:

    Collaborative design by Cmdr John Harris, Mike Wolveridge and Peter Thomson.

SSS or slope

At the same location:

A nine-hole Resort course is located 1 km north at the Wairakei Resort Taupō (now separately owned and managed from the Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary championship course).






How to get there:

7 km N of Taupo

From the centre of Taupo head north on Hwy 1. After 7 km Wairakei International golf is on your left (and Wairakei Resort accommodation is less than 1 km further on, on your right). 3.5 - 4 hours drive from Auckland.

Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.

Est. 1970

Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary: A bunker-strewn par-5 gets you underway on this superbly presented and excellently maintained Top 20 New Zealand golf course. The general environment is pine-forested hills, although many other species also adorn the mainly tree-lined fairways, including palms, birch and several more exotic bushes and grasses.

The layout includes many elevation changes, which adds to the character and definition of each hole, as well as providing for several wonderfully elevated tees, and some great views onto the surrounding hills. Water hazards in the form of small lakes and streams play their part in creating a very attractive golf setting, and excellent (ponga-walled) bunkering provides the final touches.

The greens, although good, seemed a bit slow and bobbly when we played the course, but did not detract from the overall top-quality experience of playing at Wairakei.

Stay&Play at Wairakei: luxury onsite accommodation available, see Where2Stay section below.

List of courses: NZ - North Island


Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.

Must book in advance. Handicap required.

Green fees

International visitor fee, 18-holes: NZ$345; NZ player NZ$260; Australian player NZ$295. Golf cart NZ$60.

Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2024].

Other information

Non-metal spike facility. Walking permitted at all times. Golf carts available for hire.

Practice facilities


Did you know?

Wairakei was commissioned and built by the New Zealand Government's Tourist Hotel Corporation. The objective was a green-fee paying golf venue of international standard, which would be available to all golfing visitors to the area.

The Wairakei Sanctuary complements the golf course. It was inspired by the Wairakei's current owner, Gary Lane, and uses the natural ecological canvas surrounding the course. It was concluded that a fence excluding all pests and predators was the only effective way to create a "sanctuary", enabling research into ways to enhance the natural habitats of the area's wildlife. As a result a 5.5 km boundary fence was erected, preventing both climbing and burrowing animals access to the property.

Published ranking

New Zealand's 12th best course (Australian Golf Digest, 2023/24).


  • Wairakei Resort Taupō4-star

    640 Wairakei Drive, 3384 Taupo.

    +64 (0)7 374 9004

    Visit website

    Wairakei Resort Taupō offers comfortable accommodation, excellent serice and plenty of leisure facilities amid the forested slopes of Wairakei's Thermal Valley in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. You can enjoy golf on the hotel's nine-hole course and/or nearby 18-hole championship Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary course. The hotel's facilities also include two geothermally heated swimming pools, fitness centre, floodlit tennis courts, onsite spa, and six outdoor hot tubs.

    • Golf at this hotel:


    • Golf within 10 km:


    • Golf within 30 km:


  • Outrigger Terraces Resort

    80 - 100 SH5 Taupo

    +64 (0)7 378 7080

    Visit website
    • Golf at this hotel:


    • Golf within 10 km:

      Taupo; Wairakei.

    • Golf within 30 km:


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