Located on the east coast of the South Island, and well know for its wines. Christchurch, its largest city is internationally known as "The Garden City" has well-established parks and public gardens and in 1997 was judged Overall Winner of Major Cities in the Nations in Bloom International competition to become "Garden City of the World". To the east lies the open ocean and Banks Peninsula and the French settlers' harbourside village of Akaroa. The west, features fertile plains, forested foothills, interweaving rivers, and lakes, with the Southern Alps, the tallest mountains in Australasia lying beyond that. Travel north and you will be greeted by green rolling hills, forests and long, empty beaches with the whale-watching town of Kaikoura only 2 hours' drive away. To the south, more farmland and pristine rivers which are ideal for fishing, whitewater rafting or kayaking.
The par 72 championship course is home to the NZPGA Championship. Designed by John Darby in consultation with New Zealand golfing legend, Sir Bob Charles, the course combines elements of links golf inspired by the great Scottish courses with parkland golf, more reminiscent of Florida. Playable year-round, the course meanders around a succession of spring fed lakes and trout filled streams, with uninterrupted views of the spectacular Southern Alps. There are five tee positions to suit players of all abilities.
These elegant and modern lakeside accommodations welcome privacy, relaxation, and refined entertaining. Guest rooms and suites, villas in a contemporary boathouse design, and the spacious 2 Bedroom Terrace Apartments each with a cozy fireplace, all offer marvelous lake and fairway views.
Whale Watch is a multiple award winning nature tourism company owned and operated by the indigenous Kati Kuri people of Kaikoura, a Maori sub-tribe of the South Island's larger Ngai Tahu Tribe. Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical Whale Watch tour may encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales.
New Zealand's only international Golf Tournament of the summer, the 2007 ING NZ PGA Championship, will be hosted by Christchurch's Clearwater Golf Club , with a prize-purse of $US600, 000. The ING NZ PGA Championship, co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the U.S. Nationwide Tour, will again attract the cream of New Zealand and Australia's talent, as well as 78 high quality American professionals.
Tip from Verne Perry, Pumpkin Ridge GC. The next time you're close to the green with the cup at the far end, put that wedge back in the bag and pull out a 7-iron. Open your stance, put 70 percent of your weight on your front foot, stay there through the shot, with little or no wrist hinge. Keep your chin still until impact. Remember to get the ball on the ground rolling like a putt as soon as you can. Minimum air time, maximum ground time!