Did you know… New Zealand is home to a geothermal golf course?
Arikikapakapa is not your typical golf course. Located in Rotorua, New Zealand, the 18-hole course is referred to as a geothermal golfing experience. Along with the naturally abundant plant life, the geothermal activity in the area provides a beautiful landscape around the course. Steam vents can be seen while golfing, either from the Pohutu geyser, located nearby, or from the course itself!
The golf course is one of the oldest in the country, with roots dating back to 1902. The name Arikikapakapa comes from the Te Reo Māori (the language of New Zealand Māori) and means “the gentle sound of plopping mud”, which is a sound often heard by golfers while they play. The course is also referred to as the Rotorua Golf Club.
The course is a great place to go to relax and enjoy the geothermal atmosphere. The course owners publish a newsletter frequently, giving updates on the course and what’s going on at Arikikapakapa. The newsletter also includes some of the recent top scores from the course and results from the tournaments they host there.
Around the course, there are pools of boiling hot water. The water often steams up the course due to how hot it is. Dormant areas where there is no longer geothermal activity have been incorporated into the obstacles and challenges of this unique golf course.
The pumice rock present in the soil means that the grass can recover from rain quickly, as the water drains out faster than usual. Golfers can play even after it rains!
The Rotorua Golf Club blends geothermal activity with golf in a fun and interesting way. It brings a unique experience to the Central North Island of New Zealand. Good luck finding another golf course quite like this one! As it happens, you only have to drive down the road to find one in Wairakei and the other in Taupo. What a haven for geothermal golf.
Golfers enjoying the course in 1970 (Image via Flickr)