Terrace Downs Resorts’ mission is to promote our unique New Zealand High Country environment with integrity and respect, while creating a friendly Kiwi atmosphere that ensures every guest’s experience is all they wish it to be and more.
Over the last few million years glacial ice and rivers have diligently built the platform that is Terrace Downs. With a mighty force they carved the terraces that are the home of this unique High Country resort. The terrain they shaped is rugged but beautiful and boasts features nothing short of dramatic.
Mountains tower up to 2,000 metres above a verdant and gently undulating valley floor. The spectacular Rakaia River is one day a wild and awesome torrent, the next an azure blue ribbon meandering through the gorge. With a Scottish-like charm, rye grasses in autumnal hues of rust brown and red mix with riparian tussock over fields and fairways.
Copses of native trees, evergreens and shrubs decorate the landscape of Terrace Downs, as part of a major planting program to enhance the landscape. It is New Zealand at its pristine best, majestic mountains, braided rivers, a tapestry of plains and scenery so grand it can hardly fail to gladden the eye.
Terrace Downs was part of the Snowden property until 1946. The government then acquired it and in 1949 it became one of several farms that returned serviceman could apply for. Edwin Tilley was lucky enough to win the block of land in the ballot and he named it “Terrace Downs” after the terraces down to the Rakaia river. Edwin Tilley farmed sheep and cattle on the station until he retired in 1990 when the land was put up for auction where it was purchased from Japan by Shinnosuke Saito, a professional golfer.
The location was strategically chosen for rural tranquillity and magnificent scenery, its nearness to top tourist attractions and its proximity to Christchurch, the gateway to the South Island. Of special importance, it borders unspoilt High Country offering fantastic hunting, fishing, bush walks, eco retreats and unique native fauna.
To the surprise of the local community, planning and construction of an 18-hole championship golf course began straight away, with the assistance of internationally renowned golf architects Sid Puddicombe Associates. The front nine holes were completed in 1992 and opened to the public in early 1993. A portacom was set up beside number 4 tee and golfers could come and play the front nine, using number 5 as their starting hole. After a small break construction was started on the second (back) nine holes, which were completed in 1999.
Terrace Downs has an 18 hole, par 72 championship course that features four different tee positions for the enjoyment of players of all abilities. At a length of 6,406 metres off the back tees, it includes 10 lakes and over 60 bunkers. Terrace downs golf course has been rated by the New Zealand Golf magazine as one of the top five courses in the country.
At the beginning of 2000 construction began on the Clubhouse and this was officially opened on 1 December 2001. With the completion of the Clubhouse and the golf course it was decided to start on the construction of the Terrace Villa Suites. Construction of the first 12 Villa Suites was completed in July 2003 and the All Blacks were the first house guests for their training camp at Terrace Downs just prior to departure to the Rugby World Cup. The next 16 Villa Suites were completed in 2004 and the final stage of an additional 24 was completed mid 2005.
Terrace Downs is a unique and unforgettable destination that you’ll never forget.