Midway between Auckland and Wellington is Wairakei International, which for a long time was regarded as the finest course in New Zealand.

Opened in 1970, Wairekei was arguably the spur for the more recent boom in golf course construction that has propelled New Zealand forward, and although it may have been eclipsed by fellow North Islanders Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs, the International remains a monumental layout.