Things to do in Raglan – Water Based

The ocean waves that roll into Raglan, New Zealand have forged the coastline into sandy beaches and steep cliffs. The area’s magical scenery, wide harbours and intricate coves make it one of the premier North Island attractions for people who enjoy fun out on the water.

While Raglan is most well-known for being a surfing mecca, due to Manu Bay having one of the longest left-hand surf breaks in the world there are also plenty more aquatic activities on offer.

Raglan, Waikato

Swimming in Raglan

Raglan is home to some great swimming spots. The fun starts at the estuary footbridge, where children and adults alike can take a refreshing dip into the water while just over the bridge is Raglan’s family beach, Te Kopua - a popular spot for a picnic and a swim. 

A little further around the coast you’ll find Ngarunui Beach, also known as Ocean Beach, and the famous Raglan surf spots of Manu Bay and Whale Bay. Ngarunui is a classic sandy surf beach and one of the Waikato region’s most popular for swimming.

Paddling in Raglan

Stand Up Paddle-boarding in Raglan

Take up a paddle and learn a sport with real Pacific heritage. Stand up paddleboarding (SUP-ing) has emerged as the world’s fastest growing water sport and Raglan has welcomed it with open arms, offering tours, lessons, and even paddleboard yoga classes.

Kayak in Raglan

Kayaking in Raglan

Kayaking through the beautiful harbour and scenic coastline around Raglan reveals hidden locations that can’t easily be accessed on foot or by road. You can embark on a guided tour or rent a kayak to discover uninhabited beaches and fantastic scenery around the harbour and estuaries. With amazing rock formations and some of the Waikato region’s most beautiful bush-clad inlets and beaches to explore, a Raglan kayaking adventure shouldn’t be missed.

Cruise Raglan

Raglan Harbour cruise

Scenic cruises and overnight trips are a great way to explore the beautiful inlets that make up the 122km of coastline in the Whaingaroa (Raglan) Harbour. One of the more popular options is the luxurious Wahinemoe ‘floating hotel’, which is available for tours as well as overnight stays.

Kitesurfing, Raglan, NZ

Kiteboarding in Raglan

The wild winds of New Zealand’s west coast and Raglan’s unique geography make it the perfect place for wind powered water sports. Kiteboarding is a popular option, and kiteboarders can regularly be seen zipping across Raglan’s harbour. 

Windsurfing in Raglan

Raglan is also a great destination for keen windsurfers from the Waikato, New Zealand, and around the world. The reliable wind and rolling waves that have made the town one of the most popular North Island surf spots also provide the ideal conditions for people who want to experience the Raglan coast from the top of a windsurfing board.

Fishing, Raglan Harbor, Waikato

Fishing in Raglan

The Tasman sea offers up a bounty of fishing options – from surfcasting off one of the many beaches to dragging a line behind a kayak on Raglan Harbour or chartering a boat into the open waters for a spot of snapper, kingfish, and kahawai wrangling.