There’s no denying that the compact but attraction-filled Victoria is one of the most popular destinations in Australia. To name a few of the delights:
• Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
• Melbourne Zoo
• Royal Botanic Gardens
• Queen Victoria Market
• Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
• Eureka Skydeck 88
• Old Melbourne Gaol
• NGV International
• Werribee Open Range Zoo
• Werribee Mansion
• Federation Square
• Melbourne Museum
• Gum San Chinese Heritage
• 12 Apostles
• Philip Island Nature Parks
• Healesville Sanctuary
• Wilsons Promontory
• Sovereign Hill
• Central Deborah Gold Mine
• Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
• Puffing Billy Steam Railway
• Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
And then, there are those who just want to play golf. At least, if you plan a trip to Victoria and you have family members who aren’t golfers, there will be plenty to occupy them (magnificent coastlines, beautiful beaches, national parks, forests, wildlife, wineries, skiing, climbing, and hiking), and give you the chance to enjoy some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.
1. Murray Downs
One of our favourites is the stunning Murray Downs, perhaps one of the golf resorts in Swan Hill, Victoria. The grounds are immaculately maintained, it’s adjacent to the Murray River and you get a lot of golf resort for a shockingly reasonable rate.
There are several types of memberships available, including Junior Sporting, Intermediate, Country, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Murray Downs also offers a fun and friendly bowls club.
Murray Downs Drive
T (03) 5033 1422 F (03) 5033 1423
2. Royal Melbourne
Founded in 1891, the club boasts, “Our courses are maintained with principles espoused by Dr. Alister MacKenzie with desires for excellence and best practice standards.”
Royal Melbourne features two 18-hold golf courses, a 200-metre driving range, short-game practice facilities including chipping greens, a clubhouse and a private environment. Visitors must have a letter of introduction from their home course to play. They have reciprocal club relationships and Sandbelt members may play one round annually.
The Royal Melbourne Golf Club
Cheltenham Road, Black Rock, Victoria, 3193
Phone: +61 (03) 9599 0500
3. Kingston Heath
Located 25Km outside of Melbourne, the club was first opened in 1925 and was designed by the 1905 Australian Open champion, Dan Soutar. The West Course was designed by Dr. Alister Mackenzie.
The club accepts visitors (no weekends, though), but whether they’re overseas, or interstate, they must have a current membership at an interstate or overseas golf club. They also must provide a letter of introduction from their home club (each golfer who intends to play must have this letter)
Membership is hard-won. All applicants must have support from a proposer (member for eight years), a seconder (member for six years) and at least three referees who are members of the club. It takes about six months for an application to be completed. If you’re under 29-years-old, the wait list is short. Women more than 29-years-old have about a year-long wait, but for men over 29-years-old, there is about a two-year wait for a “Restricted A Membership” and another year to two-years to become a full member.
Kingston Road Cheltenham
Victoria 3192 Australia
Telephone (03) 8558-2700
4. Newcastle NSW
Newcastle Golf Club, founded in 1905 is located in Hunter Valley, a two-hour drive from Sydney (and a few kilometres from Newcastle), features a championship course of 6200 metres. It is uniquely “based on undulating sand dunes” like historic links in Great Britain and Ireland. Newcastle is carved from a forest of eucalypts and angophoras, with all kinds of iconic Australian “native flora and fauna,” and, the club’s website boasts, kookaburras, bearded dragons, and wallabies.
Visitors are welcome all day Sunday, Monday and Friday, as well as after 12 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with limited times on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Only players who have an official handicap or are members of a golf club are eligible to play.
The club features a full-length practice fairway, large chipping and putting greens, a fully serviced Pro Shop, bar and catering.
Membership is currently open and there’s no joining fee period. The application is available on their website.
Vardon Road, Fern Bay, NSW, 2295 Australia
Phone: +(612) 4928 1365