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Flying in to Coffs Harbour and looking forward to a weekend of golf at the Bonville International Golf Resort you might feel like you’d been sold a dud. Even though we’re flying right over where it should be – no golf course in sight!
Mystery solved as soon as you tee up on the first. The flooded gums that line the fairways here are so tall and majestic you’d need to be directly overhead to get a glimpse of the fairways from the sky. And even though the fairways are quite wide the gums make them look much narrower. Tricky!
According the website blurb this is one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses, consistently voted as the most beautiful in Australia. It’s an interesting pitch – because even though it’s a stone’s throw from some stunning beachside scenery there’s no ocean views to distract you from your swing. There’s no doubt something to be said, however, for making the course itself ‘king’ and the offering here at Bonville certainly is superb.
There’s more to a great weekend of golf than golf of course, so where do you stay, what else can you do and most important, where do you celebrate all of the day’s great golf stories? The resort itself has accommodation on site which is pleasant, if not quite in the ‘luxury’ category, with rates for a two night stay at around $500 – $550 per person on a twin share basis, or $670 – $700 for a single room, including breakfast and two days of golf including cart. During the day dining options are laid back casual, but at night the Flooded Gums restaurant becomes a fine dining experience, with Sydney-style prices to match. A nice experience for one evening, but probably by the second you (and your wallet) will be looking for something a bit more down to earth.
Options are to haul into Coffs Harbour, but Sawtell is nearer, smaller and just that little bit more beachside authentic. Here you’ll find some quite good local restaurants – we had a pleasant meal with good service at ‘Hello Sawtell’ and ‘Wholly Cow’ served up some pretty good breakfast options.
If you are looking to make more of a ‘mini-break’ (to quote Bridget Jones) out of your holiday, or feel like you want a break that’s not all golf, do consider looking up some of the accommodation in Sawtell or Coffs. We stayed at an AirBnB in Sawtell, (listed under ‘Boutique Luxury Beachside Apt.’) and the apartment (and our host Tonya) could not have been more delightful. This contemporary two bedder with lots of lovely outdoor relaxation space was literally a stone’s throw from a superb beach – a short stroll over the foreshore dune and what can we say – stunning! A stroll through the waves was just the thing our golf weary feet needed. Our only regret was that we hadn’t left enough time to enjoy the location more!
Qantas, Tigerair and Virgin fly direct from Sydney to Coffs Harbour and the flight takes just over an hour (One hour fifty via Tiger Air from Melbourne). Perfect for that mini-break!