Barack Obama arrives in NZ, this is what he's up to while he's here

Barack Obama has touched down in New Zealand for the first time.

The former US president flew into the country on Wednesday under the cover of darkness and has already been whisked up north.

Mr Obama is off to stay at the luxurious The Landing in the Bay of Islands.

He's then expected to challenge his mate Sir John Key on the Tara Iti golf course, rated by golf bible Golfer's Digest as the sixth best course in the world.

It is just outside of Mangawhai in Northland, and is extremely private - the perfect place for a Commander-in Chief turned 'Golfer-in-Chief'.

Then, Mr Obama will return to Auckland on Thursday, to hold a "moderated conversation" with homegrown actor Sam Neill.

There will be no interviews and media cannot report from inside his event.

Newshub has learned the secrecy extends to those invited to his event, who are set to be prohibited from posting to their own social media.

And it won't come cheap. Mr Obama's speaking fee is said to be US$400,000 (NZ$550,000).

Mr Obama is expected to leave on Friday.

Newshub.