Legacy Partners Ltd. have announced the initial real estate offering at Te Arai, a 1,400-acre, beach-front property (a 75-minute drive from Auckland's central business district) that serves as backdrop to the new Tara Iti Golf Club, slated to open for member play in October.
Designed by American course architect Tom Doak, Tara Iti GC was laid out amid the dunes north of Te Arai Point, a favoured headland among Northland surfers. Otherwise, this stretch of beach -- some 11 kilometers in length, spreading north from a surf break known as "The Forestry" -- remains largely undiscovered, despite its location less than 100 km from the Auckland Harbor Bridge.
Auckland-based Legacy Partners is a boutique real estate brokerage firm that markets iconic and exclusive New Zealand property, while at the same time representing buyers from New Zealand and overseas. With this real estate offering, Te Arai is the first Legacy Partners community to elicit widespread public notice.
Today, the only finished structure at the Te Arai is the Tara Iti clubhouse, designed by Auckland-based Cheshire Architects. According to Legacy partner Michael Pleciak, the complete build-out plan at Te Arai calls for just 46 individual home sites across 600 hectares of freehold land. Buyers may acquire home sites or completed residences -- all boast access to the community's 5.5 kilometers of Pacific Ocean frontage.
Tom Doak's course design at Tara Iti Golf Club differs from his only previous work in New Zealand, Cape Kidnappers GC in Hawkes Bay, where the soil is not sand-based and cliff-side golf holes sit hundreds of feet above the surf. Tara Iti GC instead occupies the sandy dunescape along the beach itself. While this "links land" environment is rare (and prized across the golfing world), Doak has worked there before: at Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Oregon, USA; at Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania, Australia; at Sebonack GC on Long Island, just east of New York City. All maintain places among the world's top 100 golf courses, according to leading fold magazines. Doak, club principals and a few special guests had the opportunity to test-drive Tara Iti during an April sneak preview event.
“What I appreciated most about Tara Iti during this recent visit was the pacing and rhythm of it. What also struck me is how much it plays like a links -- and how fun that is. You can't take your eye off the ball until it stops rolling, and C.J. [Kreuscher, the course superintendent] has the playing surface so tight, the ball is still rolling long after you think it might stop. Tara Iti GC is named for the New Zealand fairy tern, a bird species that has spent several decades on the country's critically endangered list. Indeed, the club logo features a fairy tern in flight, and club founders have established a charitable trust -- the Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust -- to conserve and protect fairy terns and other threatened, at-risk shorebirds on the Te Arai property and in the surrounding area.