They say that New Zealand has one of the highest golf courses per capita ratios in the world. That being said, the traditional version of the game is harder than it looks and isn’t for everyone.
It’s also a sport that takes a lot of commitment, time and money but that doesn’t mean you have to disregard it completely as there is another fun and family-friendly option to consider.
We’re of course talking about mini golf, a pastime favourite for people all around the world and a great thing to do on holiday so we thought we’d put together a list of the best mini golf courses in New Zealand that you can add to your itinerary while you’re here!
1. Treasure Island in Auckland
Treasure Island is an awesome and unique mini golf attraction and the largest of its kind in Australasia.
As you might have guessed, it’s a pirate mini golf experience that includes not one, but two 18 hole courses, aptly named Blackbeard’s and Captain’s.
The holes are great fun and the layout and sets are amazing. You’ll be surrounded by pirates, cannons going off, water explosions and amazing waterfalls too!
Suffice to say, it’s a great one to treat the kids too who’ll love the imagination of it all.
Another great thing for holidaymakers is that it’s right by the airport and has free parking so its something you can do before you fly off, or even when you land!
It has fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor so make sure you check it out!
2. CaddyShack Mini Golf in Christchurch and Queenstown
The 18 hole courses are built in different ways with different challenges and skills required. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll be protected from the elements too which is great because you’ll have enough other distractions on the course!
It’s a great place for couples, groups, kids parties and is also popular for local Christmas functions as well. Really good fun and open seven days a week to suit your schedule whatever it may be.
The Christchurch location is in the suburb of Woolston approximately 10 minutes drive from the city centre and the Queenstown location is just a short 5 minute walk from the city centre.
3. Gloputt Mini Golf in Auckland
If you are looking for something a bit different, then get yourself over to Gloputt in Takapuna. It’s a pretty unique mini golf experience because everything is done in the dark! It’s a first for Auckland (and New Zealand) and everything is glow in the dark including the balls and the putters.
Located in Takapuna, just a short 15-minute ferry ride across from downtown Auckland, Gloputt is a 16-hole indoor course which means you can play all year round. The buildings, foliage, pathways and fairways are all illuminated with glowing technicolour.
This is a great option for birthdays and special events, especially if you’re looking for something a bit different.
4. Rotorua Mini Golf
Genius is one word to describe Rotorua Mini Golf. We say genius because they have successfully taken two completely unrelated things and put them together to create an experience that visitors almost universally love.
Those two things are mini golf (obviously) and rabbits. That’s right rabbits. Real life bunny rabbits that roam freely on the course while you put away.
Some might say they’ve taken crazy golf a little too literally but it’s a match made in heaven given the adorably cute creatures and the peaceful spirit required for golf. Many have said it’s helped their putting game with the rabbits placing them at ease on the course.
The course itself is a garden paradise with beautiful NZ native flora and fauna surroundings. They also have bubble machines, smoke machines, water features, night golf and more!
There are a lot of things to see in Rotorua but this is one to seriously add to the list just 10 minutes drive from the centre of town.
5. Birdwood Springs in Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula has so many amazing things to do – Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach, Hahei – the list goes on. However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, get yourself to Birdwood Springs Mini Golf course. Located on the outskirts of town opposite Countdown Supermarket, Birdwood Springs is a bit of a hidden gem.
It looks pretty unassuming from the outside but as soon as you step behind the fence and onto the course, you’ll realise that this is a little hidden gem. The 18 hole course winds its way between native bush and many of the holes offer up different options to test golfer with plenty of hole in one opportunities!
6. Carlucci Land in Wellington
Another unique mini golf experience unlike any other can be found in Wellington with Carlucci Land.
Carlucci Land is a junkyard themed 18 hole mini golf course, ruggedly landscaped in the hills of Wellington using good ol’ Kiwi ingenuity.
The creativity on show here with the course’s sculptures using recycled materials justifies a visit in itself. Made by artist Carl Gifford, the sculptures range in size from that of a golf ball to those that are the size of a bus. It’s quickly established itself as an iconic attraction in Wellington and one that’s becoming increasingly popular.
The holes themselves are just as unique and each other, each with their own challenges, hidden passageways and surprises making for a truly memorable experience.
Carlucci Land is a 15 minute drive from the Wellington City Centre.
7. Lilliputt Mini Golf in Auckland and Hamilton
Lilliputt dominates the mini golf scene in Auckland with four locations spread across the city including Tamaki Drive, Sylvia Park, Metro Centre and New Lynn. They also have a fifth location in Hamilton.
The best thing about Lilliputt, other than all the locations is the sheer variety of courses. Each location has a different layout and they are all really cool. From the Safari and T Rex Alley course in Tamaki Drive to the Dragon Quest in New Lynn to Lost in Time course in the Metro Centre in downtown Auckland.
All the course have their own unique character so why not take on the challenge of playing them all this year.
Have crazy fun with mini golf!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our little guide to mini golf in New Zealand and hope it’s inspired you to include a round or two as part of your road trip travels and your next holiday here.
- GO Rentals become official rental car of New Zealand Golf
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