28 January, 2021

Have a ball at Tasmania’s top public-access golf courses

The island state is an emerging golfers’ paradise, including three courses in Australia’s top five.

From zero when Golf Australia magazine first rated the nation’s best courses in 1988, to six in its 2020 Top 100 Courses list, Tasmania is now a hot spot for golfing holidays. Go on – pack your clubs in the car and sail south to discover why.

Straight from ship to shots

It’s less than 10 kilometres’ drive from Spirit of Tasmania to the new Devonport Country Club. A recent amalgamation of local golf, bowls and croquet clubs has delivered swish facilities including a two-level clubhouse, and the par-70 championship course overlooking the Mersey River is better than ever.

A little further from Devonport, Ulverstone Golf Club’s manicured, undulating fairways are set amid mature eucalypt forest. This par-72 course, surely among Tasmania’s prettiest, is at its most beautiful and challenging at the fifth hole, which is surrounded by dense bushland.

Devonport Country Club (Image: Bill Bachman/Tourism Tasmania)
Devonport Country Club (Image: Bill Bachman/Tourism Tasmania)

Play and stay in style

The Barnbougle links and resort put Tasmania on the international golfing map when the Dunes course opened in 2004. It’s ranked third on the 2020 Top 100 list, while Barnbougle’s second, 20-hole course, Lost Farm, is right behind at number four.

However your game goes on these coastal sand-dune courses, there are always brilliant Bass Strait views and many ways to reward victory or ease defeat on-site. From the sports bar, clubhouse and restaurant to the seaside day spa, plus accommodation options including private villas and Lost Farm Lodge, you’ll always feel like a winner.

Barnbougle Dunes Golf Links (Image: Brian Dullaghan/Tourism Tasmania)
Barnbougle Dunes Golf Links (Image: Brian Dullaghan/Tourism Tasmania)

Golfing heritage

Ratho Farm is home to the oldest golf course not only in Australia but the Southern Hemisphere. Established in the early 19th century, it was recently restored to 18 holes but retains features inspired by those original Scottish farmland golf courses, including square-cut greens and hazards like grazing sheep. There’s the option of staying in restored farm buildings, and between rounds you can visit the nearby Australasian Golf Museum.

Like Ratho Farm, Quamby Estate was established in the 1820s but the nine-hole course didn’t appear until the 1990s. Even so, it feels like you’re stepping back in time on fairways lined with mature English trees, hedgerows and flower gardens, plus glimpses of Georgian architecture – most notably the homestead where you can also dine and stay in heritage luxury.

Quamby Estate (Image: Brian Dullaghan/Tourism Tasmania)
Quamby Estate (Image: Brian Dullaghan/Tourism Tasmania)

Improve your handicap near Hobart

Number 78 on the 2020 Top 100, Tasmania Golf Club is bordered by water on three sides, making this par-72 championship course one of Australia’s most picturesque. Starting high up on Barilla Bluff then following Barilla Bay’s curve, the par-five third is especially renowned for its magnificent vistas and challenging layout.

Ideally located on a peninsula jutting out into the River Derwent, Claremont Golf Club’s par-71 course is also blessed with grand views, including kunanyi / Mount Wellington rising up across the water.

Tasmania Golf Club (Image: Bill Bachman/Tourism Tasmania)
Tasmania Golf Club (Image: Bill Bachman/Tourism Tasmania)

See an icon, play some golf

Want to enjoy a round and visit a top Tasmanian attraction on the same day? Tasman Golf Club’s nine-hole course is five minutes’ drive from the Port Arthur Historic Site, and offers epic views of the Southern Ocean and rugged Tasman Peninsula coastline. Watch out for wildlife including echidnas and even passing whales, and take care on the eighth hole: you need to tee off across a 100-metre chasm between cliffs!

The spectacular Freycinet Peninsula also has a bonus for golfers. Freycinet Golf Club’s nine scenic holes are nestled at the foot of the Hazards mountains, overlooking Oyster Bay. There are basic facilities for campervans and caravans too, so you can linger for more golf and exploration of neighbouring Freycinet National Park.

Freycinet Golf Club (Image: Freycinet Golf Club)
Freycinet Golf Club (Image: Freycinet Golf Club)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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