Although relatively small and thinly populated, New Zealand’s two narrow islands contain breathtaking coastal and mountain scenery. Sophisticated lodges continue to open, adding to a list that now encompasses some of the finest hideaways in the world. New Zealand is peaceful, hospitable and seems blessedly detached from the planet’s woes. This is arguably the world’s best place in which to fly-fish, with streams and lakes overflowing with magnificent brown and rainbow trout. Roads are well-maintained and clearly signed, and driving is the best way to encounter the spellbinding landscapes that are central to the New Zealand experience. Our recommended properties are spread throughout the country. In many cases, they are within comfortable driving distance of one another. A leisurely motoring itinerary would ideally be of three weeks’ duration.
Over the years, I have received many requests for advice about golf vacations. One inquiry returns time after time: “If you could go anywhere in the world for a couple of weeks, where would it be?” New Zealand offers some of the most picturesque tees and fairways in the world, and it is a land where pace-of-play issues arise because golfers simply cannot stop gawking at the amazing scenery. It also boasts some of the most deftly designed courses of the modern era, with layouts that force golfers to use every club in their bags. And with so many sites to choose from, golf architects have been able to build courses on the choicest pieces of property. The layouts are never crowded, and the conditioning is first-rate. The courses at Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers on the North Island are the best and head to The Hills and Jack’s Point courses on the South Island.
To phone hotels in New Zealand, dial 011 (international access) + 64 (New Zealand code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Seasons are reversed, with December to March being summer and June to September winter. November to April is the best time to visit. Rainfall can occur at any time of year and is sometimes heavy.
New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Fluctuating rate valued at NZ$1.53 = US$1.00 as of August 2019.
Seventeen hours ahead of New York (EST).
Wellington, Tel. (64) 4-462-6000. Consulate: Auckland, Tel. (64) 9-303-2724.