Think golf travel destinations and Tasmania might not immediately spring to mind. According to the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) however, it might be time to think again.
Australia’s island state was named the ‘undiscovered golf destination of the year’ by over 200 of the world’s leading golf travel journalists across 36 countries last October. Beating over 60 destinations to the title, the decision was based upon an array of criteria including the extent of which the golfing destination is undiscovered, attractiveness of the region and courses, speed of play, climate and accessibility.
The award is just the latest in a series of travel accolades for the island which has recently been named Lonely Planet’s ‘most desirable region in the world to visit in 2015’ and is heralded for its clean air, premium eats and drinks, friendly locals, and accessible wilds.
Boasting two courses within Golf Digest’s World’s Top 25 and with the opening of two more courses on the windswept King Island that are conjectured to be world class, Tasmania looks set to firmly stamp its mark on the world golfing map.
Infamous for its remote location, Tasmania may not be the most convenient of golf destinations, but those brave enough to make the trip may well find themselves embarking upon the golfing adventure of a lifetime.
The rugged North East Coast is home to Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm, both of which are consistently rated amongst the top courses in the world. Crafted on a small strip of land that divides stark beaches and undulating farmland, the courses weave their way through dramatic dunes in a manner more akin to the true links courses on our isles than those on the other side of the planet.
The island’s prominence as a golfing destination looks set only to continue after the opening of the much-anticipated Cape Wickham Golf Club last year. Positioned on Tasmania’s King Island the course challenges Barnbougle to the title of Australia’s most spectacular golf course. This accolade may be short lived however after the recent opening of Ocean Dunes, a Scottish style links on the western coast of the island.
Ratho Links Course is another drawcard for Tasmania – one of Australia’s oldest golf courses – laid out by Scottish emigrants in 1822. Located in Bothwell, one of the country’s earliest inland settlements, a round on today’s course might include a trip to next door’s Nant Distillery and world-class trout fishing come evening.
As for accommodation, after 18 long holes golfers have ample options including Saffire Freycinet, recently named Best Australian Boutique Property, Villa or Lodge in Luxury Travel Magazine’s Gold List. Golf enthusiasts can expect an island not only boasting internationally-sought courses but with culinary experiences to match and high-end accommodation never far from the first tee.
Those who venture from the manicured grass will find ancient wilderness, rich heritage and may even be tempted with a dram of Sullivan’s Cove single malt, named the world’s best in 2015 in the World Whisky Awards. And with more than 67 golf courses across the State, you’re never far from a fairway.
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