March in New Zealand is early autumn, a great time to play its beautiful golf courses. But why settle for the standard polished golf course when you could experience Par 3, a unique green nestled into the mountainside 1,500 metres high overlooking Queenstown?
Created by helicopter specialist Over The Top, the course was officially opened by the Right Honourable John Key, former Prime Minister. Its four tee boxes are only accessible by chopper. A flight will take you over New Zealand’s dramatic rugged landscape – rocky crags, steep stone cliffs and gnarled trees. Alighting on the landing pad, you’ll notice the golf course has been deliberately nestled into the tussock grassland to preserve harmony with nature. Down below you can see Lake Wakatipu glistening blue, which was the backdrop of several scenes in Lord of the Rings.
The challenge is to tee off on a green several hundred metres away without the ball tumbling down the mountainside. To preserve the environment, you are provided with eco balls in case of any random ricocheting. Always make sure you drive with the helicopter behind you, and once you’ve finished on the green continue your round by travelling in the chopper. Watch out for Aciphylla horrida as you’re walking round, a prickly alpine herb the Maoris used to pull out of the ground using a rope to get tubers for food.
The specific site plans for the golf course took over a year to be approved. Sand and turf were transported over Lake Wakatipu to construct it and ecologists were contacted to make sure the environment was protected. It’s this attention to detail that makes the course truly one of its kind. In the words of John Key, “I don’t think you’ll ever replicate this around the world – it’s a magnificent thing to do in Queenstown and New Zealand.”
Next time you’re vacationing in New Zealand, turn fantasy into reality and play on an amazing green in the mountains. Contact us here to play on Par 3.