6 Best Golf Courses in Australia

The importance of doing any kind of sport cannot be stressed enough, and you should make it an essential part of your travels as well. For all of you golf enthusiasts out there, here’s a list of the 6 best golf courses in Australia to play up your performance on the road.

Kingston Heath, Melbourne

Belonging to the famous Melbourne Sandbelt, Kingston Heath is one of the world’s most renowned golf clubs and one of the smallest courses too. It has a long history of hosting national championships, as well as international events, such as the 2016 World Cup. The most challenging element of this course are its bunkers, which both stimulate your mind and look incredible. Kingston Heath is a feast for all the senses and it’s constructed to make you push your limits and constantly improve your performance.

source: greatgolfaustralia.com.au

Barnbougle Lost Farm, Tasmania

Located along the coast, Lost Farm is a true paradise for golfers. It features 20 holes that pose a challenge to any golfer, regardless of their level of knowledge and practice. The course tour stretches along the coast and deep towards the Tasmanian hinterland, to provide the ultimate golf challenge, while soaking in the beauty of the nature and landscape. The course also offers professional lessons and practice facilities on the spot, to help you improve your game and achieve the perfect shot.

source: caddiemag.com

Long Reef Golf Club, Sydney

Situated 20 km outside Sydney CBD, this North Shore golf club is the perfect choice for those who want to smoothen their game and enjoy the scenic landscape of the Northern Beaches along the way. British and Australian Open winner Peter Thomson, one of Australia’s best golf players and course designers, stated that Long Reef is “the best site of any golf course in Sydney”, which is a perfect recommendation for everyone who is considering to play golf here. The design of the course stimulates your thoughts and actions, regardless of your golf standard. What separates Long Reef Golf Club from the rest is that it is fully functional in wet weather, so you don’t have to miss out due to the rain.

Source: longreefgolfclub.com.au

Ellerston, New South Wales

This golf course is one of the most exclusive clubs, and it was in the private possession of the late Kerry Packer, Australia’s richest man. It’s located in the Upper Hunter Valley, a rugged area with stunning nature that influences the game with its ravines and gullies. The terrain stimulates your brain and affects your moves, encouraging your best play, while it’s also visually appealing.

Source: gngcd.com

The National (Moonah), Cape Schanck, Victoria

The ‘Moonah’ golf course, a part of the National Golf Club, is a world-class course that provides its attendees with everything they need for a successful and stimulating play. This championship course contains 18 holes and it’s built on sand dunes, so the players can enjoy an amazing view of the sea while practicing their shots. Even though this is a private club, select groups are allowed to play, and they consist of both Australian and international visitors.

Source: nationalgolf.com.au

The Royal Adelaide, Adelaide

Located in South Australia, in the Adelaide suburb of Seaton, this private golf club has been the host of the Australian Open nine times, confirming its status in the world of golf. Despite being a private club, the Royal Adelaide gives opportunities to visitors to have a go on their course and tackle the challenges of the links.

Source: royaladelaidegolf.com.au

There you have it – a list of the top golf courses in Australia, where you can improve your skills and have a lot of fun along the way.

Vacation Escape to Marathon and the Florida Keys

The odds are very good that you’ve never heard of Marathon, Florida. Located in the middle of the Florida Keys (90 miles south of Miami and 45 miles north of Key West), Marathon is actually a collection of seven islands in a 10-mile long community. Marathon is known for its tropical climate and laid back lifestyle and is the boating and family destination of the Florida Keys.

If you are looking for your next beach getaway this is it – desirable beaches, seaside restaurants and a host of water activities including sailing, fishing, boating, wreck and reef diving, and more. And there are galleries, museums, parks, golf, shopping, and theaters for your time on dry land. The Florida Keys are unique and Marathon blends the laid back “Keys” lifestyle with lots of activities for vacationers.

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Photo by Gillian Kniveton via Trover.com

Top Hotel Choices in Marathon, Florida

Like most beach destinations, there’s no shortage of motels and hotels in Marathon. But given how special vacation time is, it’s a good idea to take a close look at your hotel options and select the one that most suits you and your family. Here are some of the best family resorts in Marathon:

–          Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort: Perhaps the best resort in Marathon because of its all-Florida experience. This is a small resort with beach houses, award-winning cuisine and a private sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico.

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Photo by Ting Teng via Trover.com

–          Hawks Cay Florida Keys Resort: This resort has garnered a number of Oyster Awards including Best Value, Luxury and Kid-Friendly Hotel in the Florida Keys. With its calm beach and family-friendly features, it’s hard to go wrong staying here.

–          Hyatt Place Marathon Florida Keys: With a historic lighthouse on site, this property is centrally located and walking distance from attractions. It of course features Hyatt amenities and outstanding guest service.

Top Things to do in Marathon, Florida

On the “must do and try” list in Marathon is:

–          Fish Tales Market & Eatery: If you like to eat fish, this is the place. Freshly caught fish of all kinds, homemade soups and perhaps the best Key Lime Pie in the Keys!

–          Pigeon Key Helicopter Tour: Get a bird’s eye view of Marathon, the Florida Keys, and the area’s crystal clear waters and beaches. You’ll also see the historic Sombrero Lighthouse and marine wildlife which may include bull sharks, sea turtles, manatees, tarpon and dolphins.

–          Marathon Diving & Snorkeling: Marathon’s reefs offer coral and fish life plus modern and historical shipwrecks for an incredible underwater experience. There are five different dive areas including the traditional favorite – Sombrero Reef.

–          The Turtle Hospital: Since its opening in 1986, the Turtle Hospital has treated and released over 1500 sea turtles back to the ocean. Guided Educational Experiences are offered to the public seven days a week.

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Photo by Turtles Travel via Trover.com

–          Crane Point Museum and Nature Center:  Crane Point Museum contains historic area artifacts dating back to prehistoric Indians. Crane Point sits on 64 acres of trees and vegetation and has walking trails that will take you on a hike through Florida’s nature and history.

It’s time to get back to Florida and discover Marathon and the Florida Keys!

Atlantis Resort – It Is Better in the Bahamas

A trip to Nassau, the Bahamas. What’s not to like? A trip for 2 to Paradise Island. And more specifically- Atlantis and its associated properties. Atlantis Resort, the Reef, the Cove and the One & Only Ocean Club.

Nassau has this real jet-setter feel to it. It’s a stones throw from Florida. Miami to Nassau is 179 miles. Jet boats, yachts, the Bahamas Express and more head over to the Bahamas with relative ease. Flights from Florida are about 55 minutes and flights into Nassau from around the world are plentiful. The Bahamas is an independent nation but as a former British colony, its roots and traditions are very British. As you drive into Nassau, you feel like you are in a tropical, seaside England. Blackbeard once called the Bahamas home and now many a celebrity do as well including Mariah Carey, Sean Connery, Johnny Depp and others.

As we cross the bridge to Paradise Island, the Atlantis Resort and its Royal Towers stare you down. Officially opened in 1998, the resort was created by South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner and his company (think “Sun City” in south Africa). Its a large property and now contains the 3 towers of Atlantis Resort, the Reef Tower, the Cove Tower and the Harborside Resort. They’re all very distinct. You can easily stay in your own little area or wonder the full property and take in all it offers- numerous dining choices, 11 pools, 3 beach areas, dolphin cay, water park, marine habitat and more.

Atlantis is very much about the experience. Although its a large property, it has a comfortable feel to it. The Atlantis experience also includes a spa, 5-star restaurants, activities and entertainment. On the weekend we were there, Justin Bieber was too. Performing and wandering the resort with his entourage. Every few weeks there is a featured performer in concert to draw fans from North America. You get a fairly intimate venue and perhaps the chance to bump into that same celebrity on the property. I didn’t have a chance to play golf but the Ocean Club Golf Course gets rave reviews (ranked #8 Resort Golf Course by Golf Digest). Food is everything and the dining reflects that. Buffet breakfasts, snacks and casual dining are all exceptional. So is the fine dining. We had great dinners at the Bobby Flay Restaurant (Mesa Grill) and Cafe Martinique.

While its easy to get drawn into the glitz of the bigger than life resort, it still comes back to the water for me. The Dig (one the world’s largest walk through aquariums) is one of the most amazing fish viewing experiences anywhere. Fish, eels and sea life of almost every kind abound. As a water thrill, the “Leap of Faith” a.k.a. Shark Slide, has no equal. As you jump into the tube at the top, you must cross your feet and fold your arms (lest they be ripped from your torso). You drop 60 feet at breakneck speed through a glass tube with sharks racing around you (or so it seems). At the bottom, you are dumped into a pool and immediately think “ok, that wasn’t as bad as I thought”. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the beach. The beaches are gorgeous and the water is perfect. That’s all I need. Of course, there is more to the Bahamas than Nassau, but it’s a great place to start.