Get into the holiday swing at Australia’s top golf resorts

Stay and play in some of the most spectacular locations in Australia, no matter your skill level.

By Norman Beck, September 12 2023
Get into the holiday swing at Australia’s top golf resorts

Golf is more than just a sport for many, it’s a way of life. One which regularly encourages you to play a few (dozen) rounds and hone your skills – or just have a bit of fun outdoors – in some of the most striking locations near and far.

Whether you’re in the mood for a stay and play golf getaway with your partner or friends, or maybe want to fit in a couple of swings while on holiday with the family, Australia has a stellar array of golf resorts to choose from.

The Dunes at Barnbougle.. Jacob Sjoman
The Dunes at Barnbougle.
Jacob Sjoman

No matter your handicap, the championship courses offer a good challenge, backed up with those essential after-golf amenities. Plus, all of them generally hire out quality equipment, making for a stress-free experience that doesn’t test your luggage allowance.

From remote adventures to scenic getaways close to home, these are some of Australia’s best golf resorts.

 

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas, Queensland

In Queensland’s balmy Tropical North, the Sheraton Grand Mirage is an outstanding escape home to more than two hectares of swimmable lagoons and multiple restaurants and bars – from the famed Harrisons to Feast, an Italian experience.

Five-times British Open winner, Peter Thomson, and renowned architect Michael Wolveridge were the masterminds behind its 18-hole golf course. The Country Club also has a lap pool, gym, and tennis court. Lessons can be arranged for those looking to up their game.

Resort accommodation options are exceptional, ranging from swim-out suites to four-bedroom villas. Each features warm and inviting tropical-inspired décor, with a marble bathroom and rainforest shower, and views of the garden or pool.

InterContinental Sanctuary Cove, Queensland

If you’re looking for the ultimate golf experience on the Gold Coast, coupled with luxurious five-star accommodation to match, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove is for you. Home to three critically acclaimed courses, it’s a perfect excuse for an extended holiday.

Among its offerings are The Pines, a 14-hole course carved through pine forest; The Palms, with its fast greens and abundant water hazards; and Links Hope Island, featuring a combination of natural and man-made hazards including 128 pot style bunkers.

The InterContinental combines with Sanctuary Cove Country Club to tee up a wide range of facilities, including lap pool, aerobics, gym, personal training, yoga, spa treatments and more. After golf, a drink by the hotel’s famous one-acre saltwater lagoon pool is a must!

Barnbougle, Tasmania

Located on the northeast coast of Tasmania, Barnbougle is a mecca for avid golfers. Many agree its two spectacular links courses, The Dunes and Lost Farm, rival the best in Scotland or Ireland. There’s also a short 14-hole Barnbougle Run to round out your stay.

Impeccably designed, The Dunes is rated #2 in the country by Golf Australia and #11 in the world, with sweeping views along wild Barnbougle Beach. Meandering along the shore before heading inland amid dramatic dunes and grasses, Lost Farm closely follows at #3 and #23 in the world.

There are fabulous accommodation options from luxury ocean-fronting villas to two-bedroom cottages, all with scenic views of the ocean or links. When hunger takes hold, head to The Lost Farm Restaurant for a fine dining feast, or The Dunes for a more casual affair.

Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes, King Island, Tasmania

King Island is a more remote yet easily accessible golf experience, with many combining a stay at Barnbougle with a short flight onwards to King Island, before returning to Melbourne.

There are two magnificent courses to choose from, Cape Wickham and the Ocean Dunes, offering world-class links golf with a uniquely rugged island experience.

Hugging the rugged northeastern tip of the island, Cape Wickham is a bucket-list destination for many golfers round the world. It’s rated the best public course in Australia and number one overall by Golf Australia for its unique collection of pure links coastal holes, cleverly routed around Cape Wickham Lighthouse.

The Ocean Dunes receives its fair share of accolades too, with the links consistently rated in the #4 top public courses in Australia. Onsite facilities are limited, though accommodation and dining are available nearby at Cape Wickham or Currie, a five-minute drive away.

Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is a convenient getaway with multiple links-style courses and weather conditions that add a worthwhile challenge. Peppers at Moonah Links has two of the region's most highly-regarded courses: The Open and the Legends.

Appropriately named, The Open was designed by Peter Thompson specifically to host the 2005 Australian Open. It follows the undulating natural contours of the land, with the ever-present wind adding an additional test for golfers of all skill levels.

The Legends is shorter and considered the more attractive of the two, with trees and bushes meandering between the holes and bunkers.

Peppers has all the facilities you expect from a five-star resort, including sensational dining, a day spa, gym, and heated pool. Plus, there’s the famous Peninsula Hot Springs nearby, offering over 20 bathing experiences including a cave pool, Turkish hammam, and underground sauna.

RACV Cape Schanck Resort, Victoria

Another fantastic option for Victorian golfers is RACV Cape Schanck Resort, also on the Mornington Peninsula. This outstanding course, with its par 70 Robert Trent Jones-designed layout, consistently rates in Australia’s top 100.

The 18-hole golf course appeals to both serious and occasional players, with beautifully manicured greens complemented by dramatic views stretching from Melbourne skyline to the rugged shores of Bass Strait.

After a round, relax in the swimming pool, get active in the wellness and health centre, or treat yourself at the day spa. Beyond the resort, there are also stunning beaches, world-class wineries, and captivating cliff top walks.

Rydges Resort Hunter Valley, New South Wales

An easy two-hour drive from Sydney is the Hunter Valley region, famous for its rolling vineyards, wineries and spectacular mountain ranges. It also offers world-class golf, with luxury accommodation and superb fairways in the heart of Australia's oldest wine region.

Among them is the newly-rebranded Rydges Resort Hunter Valley (formerly Crowne Plaza), home to the challenging and scenic Hunter Valley Golf Club. Pick up all you need at the Pro Shop, then enjoy a game surrounded by lakes and views of the Brokenback Mountain Range.

Ideal for families, adults can appreciate the Ubika Spa and savour every bite and sip at the multiple dining venues, while the kids will be entertained at the resort-run water park. The Sydney Brewing Company is also onsite, as is the Loviz Arts Gallery.

Chateau Elan, New South Wales

Nearby, another alternative is The Vintage at Chateau Elan, home to a Greg Norman-designed championship course that’s equal parts challenging, engaging and welcoming.

Chateau Elan also specialises in spa treatments for those looking to unwind after golf or just wanting to relax. Along with the fine dining in the Legends restaurant, there is the Spike bar for after-golf or pre-dinner drinks.

Surrounded by vineyards and meandering cellar door wine trails, the tastefully-furnished accommodation ranges from spa suites to one or two-bedroom apartments.

Lady Bay Hotel Resort, South Australia

South Australia’s stunning Fleurieu Peninsula, with its abundant wineries and cellar doors, not to mention easy access from Adelaide, has several well-regarded golf offerings, including the Lady Bay Hotel Resort near Normanville.

Designed by golfing legends Jack Newton, Graeme Grant and John Spencer, the championship course is considered one of the state’s best, with magnificent par 3 holes.

It presents a demanding challenge from the back tees to test the more gifted golfers yet is still fair enough to be enjoyed by the average player. Don’t be surprised if you spot dozens of kangaroos cheering you on from the sidelines.

All 28 of the hotel’s One Bedroom Suites come with a spa to help soothe your weary muscles after a long day of walking, together with a complimentary gym.

McCracken Country Club, South Australia

The McCracken Country Club in Victor Harbor is another standout option on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Its course was designed by renowned golf architect Tony Cashmore and features a picturesque layout with undulating fairways leading to manicured greens.

With multiple hazards scattered throughout – 72 bunkers and 14 lakes and ponds – it’s an experience which can lead even the most talented golfer to come unstuck, yet it’s all part of the fun.

The pet friendly resort also features an indoor swimming, spa and sauna, along with the McCracken Bar & Grill. Almost every guest room has a spa bath too (villas excluded).

The Vines Resort, Western Australia

Over in the west is The Vines Resort, a property which has hosted prestigious tournaments including the Heineken and Johnny Walker Classics and the LPGA Lexus Cup.

Just 30 minutes from Perth in the renowned Swan Valley wine region, it boasts two par 72 championship courses designed by Graham Marsh and Ross Watson, plus golf and tennis academies for those wanting to sharpen their game.

The outstanding Novotel property has multiple dining options, a Keishi spa, wellness centre, pool, mini-golf, tennis, and luxury hotel-style accommodation. For an extended stay, apartments with full facilities are available.

Joondalup Resort, Western Australia

Only 25 minutes north of Perth is the equally luxurious Joondalup Resort. The 27-hole layout, designed by the internationally renowned Robert Trent Jones Jr, presents a demanding course featuring a wide variation in setting and style.

Enveloped in a peaceful bushland setting, the resort also caters to those looking for activities beyond the golf course, including an Endota Spa, e-bikes, and tennis court, plus scenic walking trails where you can spot the abundant wildlife.

No matter your skill level, there’s a golf resort in Australia to suit, one with all the facilities needed to keep your partner or family entertained while you’re indulging in your passion. When it’s time to return the favour, these luxurious Australian resorts are sure to satisfy. 

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 376

+1 for King Island. Amazing golf there. 35min flight from Melbourne and if you fly Sharp, you fly out of Essendon instead of Tullamarine.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 25

Was just here to comment on King Island Grannular! They don't have the facilities of some other resorts, but the courses are magnificent challenges, and King Island itself is like stepping into another world - well worth a couple more days exploring if one has time (and the local 9 hole golf course is well worth a hit too - as a warm up to the other two)

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 32

Bonville the big omission from this list.


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