Top golf resort Terrace Downs proves to be an accessible winter getaway

By Herald de Paris Contributor's Bureau on July 20, 2014


By Anna Wilding
CHRISTCHURCH (Herald de Paris) — ¬†
The Southern Alps stretch along the entire backbone of the South Island of New Zealand.  These Alps are to the Southern Hemisphere, what the Rockies are to Canada and North America.  They are a great winter playground, provided you play and stay safe.  The Southern Alps are a place of mystery, wonder, excitement and great beauty.   There are many resorts around the lowers regions of the Alps, Queenstown and the other lakes.

It is rare to find great five-star resorts to stay in closer to the ski fields such as Mt. Hutt and Porters Heights. However, Terrace Downs fits the bill.  International travellers can fly direct into Christchurch, and then drive or helicopter into Terrace Downs. Terrace Downs is a mere 60 minutes away in the stunning South Island Southern Alps.

TD1We had the fortunate opportunity to stay in one of the luxury villas.  The villas are right at the foothills of the Southern Alps.  The area is coloquially known as the High Country, and after a snowfall it is a majestic sight to behold.  In fact, the villas are so cosy and sophisticatedly delivered, it was enough entertainment to gaze at the clear vast black night and its millions of stars in the evening, before dinner, and then to luxuriate  in the gigantic oversize spa bath looking out over the Alps in the morning .  This is just as well as, at present, winter activies do fall short at this resort unless you are going off site to go skiing, horse riding, jet boating, or anyone of a myriad of other outdoor activities, weather permitting.  The principal winter activity right now is romance, and in that light, Terrace Downs is a winner.
The resort recently underwent a change of management and ownership, and is addressing ways to entice guests in the winter months in the evenings. Though, of course, staying in ones villa and entertaining oneself ¬†is just as great. ¬†New and lively Resort Manager, Koji Kawamata, bought on by new owner, Hiroshi Hasegawa, is keen to make his mark. ¬† The restaurant is adequate and the food casual, but with the guidance of the new owner, Mr Hasegawa and his new manager, Mr. Kawamata, it will hopefully undergo a refurbishment that is more fitting and more at ¬†“one” with its stunning location. ¬†We hope this refurbishment will live up to the high standard and excellent accomdation currently provided by the villas.
td5In summer, the resort adopts a whole new tone.  It is, in fact, a  five-star golf resort with spectacular views over the Rakaia river.  The golf course is an 18 hole, 72 par championship golf course with 11 lakes and 70 bunkers.  Terrace Downs has been named one of the top three golf courses in New Zealand.  In the summer, Terrace Downs has  a full range of other activites on site, such a  archery, golf, tennis, a regulation football/rugby field, clay skeet shooting, and many others.
The Spa at Terrace Downs is not to be missed, and is set in it’s own private villa. ¬†If you wish a wonderful and indulgent day trip out of Christchurch, may I suggest treat yourself to a spa service and lunch. ¬†The Spa is simply one of the best I have been to in New Zealand and well worth the hour or two, or three or four, spent there.
We loved our stay.  I had visited once before, for lunch in summer, where my archery skills were put to the test.  Terrace Downs is a pleasant day and or evening trip from Christchurch and an excellent place to stay for a few nights, any time of the year.
A welcome addition to the New Zealand tourist landscape but also uniquely accessible for local New Zealanders.

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