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new zealand sports & recreation | back to regions & attractions
Magnificently designed courses, frequently set against breathtaking panoramas of snow-capped mountains, lakes, forests and seascapes, make New Zealand one of the world's most sought after golf locations. New Zealand offers more than 400 crowd free golf courses where you can play year round. That's more golf courses per capita than any other country!
Some of the top courses are, Waitangi overlooking the beautiful Bay of Islands, Formosa Country Club and Gulf Harbour, both with magnificent views over Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, Mount Maunganui links, built on rolling sand dunes near one of the country's best surfing beaches, Wairakei, near Lake Taupo, rated one of the top 25 courses outside the United States, and Millbrook, designed by New Zealand's distinguished golf professional Sir Bob Charles, near the alpine adventure resort of Queenstown.
Sailing will let you discover this beautiful country from a unique offshore perspective. Both bare boating and chartered options are available throughout the country. Bare boating gives you a choice of any vessel that matches your expertise. On a skippered charter you'll be guided by an experienced sailor and have everything done for you. The maritime reserves of the Bay of Islands, Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds are among the best areas for a holiday afloat. Auckland, known as the City of Sails, has the world's largest number of boats per head of population
skiing & snowboarding
Internationally renown as a ski destination, New Zealand boasts 12 commercial ski areas, one Nordic cross-country area, 12 club fields and a host of heli-skiing operators. For those who come to ski New Zealand, they will find the variety staggering, the terrain spectacular, and the lines comparatively short.
The two North Island commercial ski fields, one of which is the country's largest, are located on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu in the central North Island. In the South Island, there are four fields centred around Queenstown and Wanaka, together offering some of the finest ski terrain in the world. In the central South Island is Mount Hutt, with the longest ski season in the country.
Surfing has grown to become one of New Zealand's favourite recreational activities. While Raglan, on the Waikato Coast, has achieved legendary status thanks to its epic left-hand point break, other places such as The Coromandel, Mount Maunganui, Gisborne and the Wairarapa coast also produce some great wave action when conditions are right. Other locations with reputations for great waves include Waipu Cove, south of Whangarei, and in the South Island, Kaikoura (famous for its whale-watching activities) and Dunedin.
walks & treks
New Zealand offers some of the best walking treks in the world, including the world renown Milford Track. Walking or hiking trips will take you into National Parks and reserves, as well as volcanic and coastal regions. You can get as close as possible to nature, including birds and other wildlife.
For Windsurfers, New Zealand's inland waters and harbours are more suitable
for windsurfing than the coastal beaches, where wind direction often conspires
against sailboard use when the surf is up. If you want a real challenge,
try some of the spots around Wellington where wind channelled through
Cook Strait can provide some excellent conditions for experienced boarders.
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