BELOW THE ALPS
Gary Cody spends some time at a high country resort and is sad to leave.
Driving from Christchurch to Terrace Downs is fun. It’s across the flat plains of Canterbury and beautiful farmland that produces tons of produce for local and international markets.
Terrace Downs located in the foothills of The Sothern Alps and surrounded by lush farmland is a wonderful country surprise. Down the long driveway and up to the car park beside the huge clubhouse is amazing. The clubhouse was built with a real alpine look as are most of the other homes and units on the vast property.
Out onto the first tee and I was thinking back to when I first played this hole. The resort had just been completed and the course was very new. It has since settled and matured and with the make over taking place the greens and fairways are first class.
Playing alongside the cliffs that drop down to the Rakaia River is nothing but awe inspiring. Looking up at Mount Hutt, Canterbury’s number one ski field and the rural landscape is something available only here in this clean friendly environment.
After an average round it was back to the clubhouse to enjoy a shower and tidy up before I headed over to the enlightening day spa. Not being a big spa guy I was totally converted and treated like a king. The spa is so peaceful and relaxing I actually fell asleep while being pampered. The massage was refreshing and made me feel
brand new as I had just come off an international flight that morning.
That evening I met the management team from Terrace Downs for dinner.
Koji Kawamata Manager and A J Rogerson the Marketing Manager. It was a delightful meal and they shared some of the plans they have afoot for the future development of The Resort. Golf tournaments are popular with corporates and clubs and they have some plans to repeat successful tournaments again this summer.
The next morning I took a ride in a jet boat on the Rakaia River . The geographical formation of the land and cliffs in this area is unique. The ice age certainly carved some amazing formations into the land and the cliffs that line the river. The jet boat driver also showed me some images of trout and salmon that he has had clients catch on this big river. So much to do , so little time.
That afternoon I was back in the saddle. Terrace Downs also offers horse trekking as an option for families and singles to wander through this pristine farmland and appreciate the wonderful landscape. The horse treks took us across hills, forests and pastures, with an incredible vista of the Rakaia Gorge. No sore backside I really enjoyed the encounter with a fit horse and was impressed that advanced riding lessons are available as well.
There are so many activities available a week would not be enough. Helicopter rides, sheep farm visits, hunting and even the All Blacks have had camps there and used the full sized rugby ground to train on.
It was a sad departure and driving out the long drive away from the resort was quite sad however made me promise to myself. “Don’t leave it so long till next time”.