Stay and play: Australia’s best golf resorts

By Tegan Reeves,

What’s better than cruising around the golf course, with the sun shining on your back and a tin of frosty in hand?

Nothing.

Which is why we’ve put together a list of Australia’s best golfing resorts, so you can stay and play all in the one location. Waste no more time wishing you were air mailing shots across the green, and book that golf getaway now.


The Vintage – Hunter Valley NSW

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 43

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A weekend golfing trip with your mates needn’t be a classless affair, and Chateau Elan at The Vintage proves this.

The highlight of this Greg Norman designed course arrives at hole eight. The 194-metre, par 3 hole is described as both a beauty and a beast, and is near impossible to master if a westerly is blowing. The seventh hole meanders through grape vines – hook it too far left and your ball will be lost to the grapes.

chateau-bunkerchateau-diningAccommodation wise, choices are ripe for the picking at Chateau Elan. Its spa suites are designed with seclusion in mind, and feature screen courtyards and privileges at the on-site day spa. Running along the 10th hole is a series of villas, which can accommodate larger groups, perfect for those after a classy group golf experience.

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Sanctuary Cove Pines – Gold Coast QLD

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 45

Sanctuary Cove Palms – Gold Coast QLD

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 48

What’s better than a resort with one golf course? A resort with two golf courses.

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Guests of the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort get access to both the Sanctuary Cove Palms and Sanctuary Cove Pines golf courses. The latter of these is exclusive to members and resort guests, meaning you’ll need to stay at the resort to experience Australia’s only Arnold Palmer signature course. If you’ve faced the facts, and realised that your golf game is about as good as Tiger Woods’ reversing skills, you’d do well to take part in one of the three or five-day golf clinics.

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You’re going to need your beauty sleep after hitting up divots on these challenging courses all day. The five-star resort has a variety of rooms to suit your needs, which come with access to facilities like the aptly named Champions Day Spa, Verandah Bar, and Cove Café.

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Magenta Shores – The Entrance NSW

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 23

If you want to tee off on the number one resort course in NSW, you’ve got two options:  either be a member of the Magenta Shores Golf and Country Club, or a guest at the attached resort, Pullman Magenta Shores.

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If your golf partner likes to throw the clubs around when things aren’t going their way, you would be wise to opt for the two-bedroom villa when it comes to sleeping. It’s important to give your mates space when dealing with their golfing short comings.

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In-house restaurant, Barretts, serves up some of the best seafood on the Central Coast – be sure to get your chops around the salt water barra. Next door, Shallows Bar offers happy hour specials between 5pm-6pm (everyday).

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Moonah Links Open – Mornington Peninsula VIC

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 36

Moonah Links Legends – Mornington Peninsula VIC

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 29

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If you’re looking for a weekend golf escape that isn’t too far from Melbourne, Moonah Links is ideal. Only an hour and a half’s drive from the capital will get you to two of the best golf courses in the state, conveniently located next to one another. Each championship course presents its own set of challenges – The Open Course is one of the longest courses in Australia, and will test the mental strength of even the staunchest players.  The Legends Course on the other hand is a much more friendly golfing experience.

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Attached accommodation, Peppers Moonah Links Resort is spiffy. Rooms look out to neighbouring vineyard, The Cups Estate and nearby Peninsula Hot Springs. If you don’t want to spend your entire stay golfing, take advantage of the outdoor heated pool, gym and mountain bikes available for hire.

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Joondalup Resort – Connolly WA

Holes: 27 | Australian Course Ranking: 17

If you’re going to stay and play in Perth, Joondalup Resort golf course is an obvious choice. The course is tough, and tests even the most seasoned of players, but the surrounding scenery makes it well worth it. Even if your balls spend more time in the sand than David Hasslehoff, the holes running through the limestone quarries make up for the pain of an above par effort.

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Room types include standard, garden view, lake view and suite. All come with free WiFi, complimentary in-house movies, and the option to vary bed configuration between double or twin (because sometimes you don’t love your golfing partner quite that much).

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Traditional pub grub is offered at Kangaroo Arms, the on-site British style pub. Meals here are best washed down with a schooner of mud after a tough day of golf. If you’re looking for something a little more high class, visit neighbouring Bistro 38. Its wine list is full of WA specialties.

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Links Lady Bay – Normanville SA

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 57

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There’s something about playing a round of golf overlooking Australia’s coastline that makes you stand back and think to yourself ‘life could be much worse’. The Links Lady Bay is only an hour’s drive from Adelaide and is smack bang in the middle of the McLaren Vale wine region. Be prepared for the strong winds, which can add to the challenge on this course. The 17th hole comes with ocean views and is listed as one of Australia’s best holes.

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Accommodation overlooks the course, so even when you aren’t playing, you can stand on your private balcony and study the greens. If a day of golfing hasn’t left you in a sweat, hit the gym after your game. Alternatively, grab a massage from the day spa, and loosen up your swing for the next day’s game.

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Pelican Waters – Caloundra QLD

Holes: 18 | Australian Course Ranking: 59

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An hour’s drive north of Brisbane, Pelican Waters Golf Club is home to an impressive clubhouse and resort, The Sebel Pelican Waters. Designed by the big shark himself, Greg Norman has created a challenging links course that incorporates the natural landscape and waterways of the property.

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Accommodation varies from suites to entire apartments which are ideal for a week-long golfing getaway. Rooms overlook the well-manicured golf course and to the Glasshouse Mountains.

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Planning a trip to New Zealand? Check out our guide to the best golf resorts in New Zealand