Raglan

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  3. Raglan
Located on the rugged western coastline of the Waikato, Raglan is known for its beautiful scenery and the laid-back vibe that is thanks, in part, to the residents who are mostly into sustainable lifestyles, many of them creative painters, potters, poets and the like.

Top Raglan Things to do

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Surfing
Surfers around the world know and love Raglan, especially Manu Bay, immediately to the south of the town. The left-hand break here is legendary and said to be the longest in the world.
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Kayaking and Paddle boarding
Kayaking around the beautiful harbour and along the scenic coastline reveals hidden locations not readily reached on foot or by road.
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Bridal Veil Falls
Only 15 minutes drive from Raglan, the spectacular 55-metre-high Bridal Veil Falls, also known as the Wairēinga Falls is a popular Waikato walking track.
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Harbour cruise
A scenic cruise is a relaxing way to get out on Raglan Harbour to explore its far reaches, witness the wildlife and enjoy the scenery.
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Fish & chips
Head down to Raglan Wharf to Raglan Fish where you can eat in or take out, perhaps sitting with your legs dangling over the wharf as you tuck in. Raglan fish also has fresh and smoked fish.
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Arts & crafts
With its stunning landscapes, laid-back beach vibe and sustainability ethos it’s little surprise that Raglan is home for some of the most creative artists in New Zealand.
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Mt Karioi & Te Toto Gorge
On land walking trails ribbon the area and come with panoramic views over the ocean, native forest, and farmland.
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Cycle trails
Getting on your bike in Raglan also gives opportunity to take in the great scenery.
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Gourmet delights
There is plenty to delight foodies, from the delightful mix of cafés and bars, many tempting with locally grown produce and artisan products like local cheeses and sourdough bread, to weekly markets.
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Sunset & beach
Raglan’s famously long left hand break runs along a rocky shoreline, encompassing three bays.

Destination Raglan

With its black sand, fine surfing, tranquil harbour and laidback vibe, Raglan is a unique and relatively unknown slice of Kiwi heaven.

Surfing in Raglan

With world-class surf breaks and some of the most consistent surfing conditions in New Zealand, Raglan is a surfing hot spot.

Four beaches in the area top the list. About 10 minutes out of town is Ngārunui Beach, also known as Ocean Beach, which is good for less experienced and beginner surfers. Manu Bay is legendary with experienced surfers reporting the long left-hand break can give a two-kilometre ride if you know what you are doing. Whale Bay, a little further along the coast with surfers saying it’s not for the faint-hearted, while Ruapeke can also pack a powerful punch.

For surfers wanting to perfect their techniques and for those just starting out there are experts ready to provide lessons. Raglan Surf School offers group, family and school lessons, as well as private one-on-one coaching.

Kayaking & Paddle-boarding 

Kayaking around the beautiful harbour and along the scenic coastline reveals hidden locations not readily reached on foot or by road. BYO or rent from Raglan Kayak & Paddleboard, and there are guided tour options too – all with picture-perfect scenery including inlets clad with native forest and beaches where another footprint in the sand means it is a crowded day.

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP-ing) is a perfect way to get out onto Raglan Harbour to see marine and birdlife up close and inspect the unusual pancake rock formations, the layers having been etched out by water, wind and salt spray over the aeons. BYO or hire a board locally.

Raglan Harbour cruise

The deep harbour is also a magnet with its marine animals, birdlife and intriguing pancake rock formations that can be explored in several ways – either by kayak, on a standup paddle board or aboard the purpose-built catamaran.

A scenic cruise is a relaxing way to get out on Raglan Harbour to explore its far reaches, witness the wildlife and enjoy the scenery while a local guide talks about what there is to see and the fascinating history of the area. One of the cruise options is aboard the Wahine Moe, a purpose-built catamaran that has comfortable seating areas, indoors or on deck. Passengers can go cruising at sunset or head out on the special nature cruise – on both you can choose the extra of delicious fish and chips from Raglan Fish

Sunset & beach

Surfers around the world know and love Raglan, especially Manu Bay (also known as The Point), immediately to the south of the town and featured in the 1966 cult surfing movie Endless Summer. The left-hand break here is legendary and said to be the longest in the world.

Raglan’s population swells 300-400 percent in the summer months as visitors flock to the area, attracted by the ambience and the beaches, resplendent with their sparkling black iron ore-rich sand and tumbling waves. Many come to swim and beach-comb, others to surf cast for fish, and just about everyone to catch the kaleidoscopic drama of the sun setting out over the ocean.

Bridal Veil Falls

An easy walk is the 10-minute path leading to the top of the Bridal Veil Falls, also known as the Wairēinga Falls. Two viewing platforms provide stunning vistas of the 55 metre high falls and ample photo opportunities of the plunging white water flanked by grey rock and green bush.

For visitors wanting to look up at the falls there is a step stairway leading down to a further platform.

Mount Karioi & Te Toto Gorge

Raglan has some of the best coastal trails where the spectacular views out over the ocean waves, black sand beaches, native forest and farmland make the perfect excuse for hikers to take regular breathers along the way.

For hikers who like a challenge there’s the summit of Mount Karioi, an ancient volcano that rises sharply from the sea standing guard over the entrance to Raglan Harbour and is rich in Māori legend.

The track to the top climbs from Te Toto Gorge on the mountain’s north-west side, passing the gorge’s formidable cliffs and the remnants of the centuries-old traditional Māori productive garden. The reward on high is the panoramic view.

Raglan Cycling

Getting on your bike in Raglan also gives opportunity to take in the great scenery.

Mountain bikers will find trails graded from easy to advanced – for example the half-day 45km Mount Karioi Loop, where there is the annual Karioi Classic event that is literally breath-taking, with views out over the ocean and on a clear day all the way down the coast to Mount Taranaki.

Threading through the Wainui Reserve the Te Ara Kākāriki Trail has sections that are suitable for the kids while the added interest in biking the 18km Pīpīwharauroa Trail is Te Uku Wind Farm with its 137 metre high turbines.

Raglan Dining

Good food and Raglan go together like fish and chips, wine and cheese, sugar and spice – you get the picture.

Before and after a day of beach, hiking, biking and exploring art galleries and studios, there are eateries and bars ready to serve up deliciousness, much of it locally grown and locally produced.

The Shack on the main street, open for breakfast and lunch, serves good honest local food – start the day with the nourishing combo of miso flavoured butternut and scrambled eggs, while lunch could be braised lamb shoulder with eggplant.

Also on the main street is ISO Raglan, again celebrating local growers with a menu that is packed with flavour and designed around fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Orca Eatery & Bar offers seafood, steaks and burgers with great waterfront views while neighbour La Land specialises in all that’s sweet – waffles, cakes, slices, chocolate and more. Here four-legged customers are offered free ‘puppucinos’.

ULO’s Kitchen is a funky eatery highlighting Japanese fusion flavours using local produce.

On the road running between Raglan town and the surf beaches is Rock-it Kitchen. This rustic eatery can also be reached by kayak or paddleboard thanks to a tidal stream that connects with the harbour. Local and organic are the passwords here with menus that change regularly to reflect what’s in season.

Raglan Fish & chips

The town caters for all tastes and a range of budgets with the world-famous in Raglan fish and chips being a favourite with many visitors. If this iconic meal is your fix, head down to Raglan Wharf to Raglan Fish where you can eat in or take out, perhaps sitting with your legs dangling over the wharf as you tuck in. Raglan fish also has fresh and smoked fish.

Raglan Shopping

There are upscale shops to browse, many devoted to the beach and surfing scene, and galleries showcasing the creative works of the artists and literary residents of the area.

And don’t forget to head down to Raglan Wharf where renowned local potter Tony Sly has his studio and shop, alongside Soul Shoes, where father and daughter work side by side handcrafting a range of leather goods.

Raglan is also home to a number of artisan food and beverage producers with products showcased by chefs and available direct from the makers or in food stores around town.

Creative Raglan

Raglan is home to many creative artists with the Old School Arts Centre a focal point in town. This protected heritage building is a multi-purpose venue staging regularly changing exhibitions in its gallery with spaces for workshops, demonstrations, live music and movies.

The centre is also where the creative market is held on the second Sunday each month, as well as being the first stop for people in town for two key arts events staged annually – the Raglan Arts Weekend, held on Labour Weekend at the end of October, and the Raglan Arts Trail event when artists open their studios.

Top experiences in Raglan

top pick Hamilton & Waikato Tourism
from
$25
Raglan

Raglan Kayak & Paddleboard

Whether you join our famous Kayak & Coffee excursion or hire kayaks with friends, you are only a short paddle away from New Zealand's best kept secret. Raglan Kayak and Paddleboard offers you world class excursions that are suitable for the whole family. Discover Raglan's stunning Limestone Coast, secluded bays, black sand beaches and cultural sites filled with a colourful history. Imerge yourself in & enjoy. Top quality equipment and professional briefings.
top pick @nina_niak
from
$54
Raglan

Kid surf lesson

This lesson is for kids under 14 only. Your grom will learn everything about surfing in around 1.30. Please check out our "school camp" weekends during school holidays.
top pick Raglan Rock
from
$99
Raglan

Raglan Rock, Original Pioneers Caving

Escape the crowds and join Raglan Rock to explore the closest caving network to Hamilton City Centre. The original pioneer’s tour follows the first mapped route of the Karamu Cave. Descend into the beautiful natural limestone chasms and experience an out of this world adventure. A peaceful walk through the Karamu cave stream leads past a few fun wriggly squeezes before entering the magnificent auditorium, where the exciting wriggle and squeeze known as the keyhole leads you to a different world. Karamu cave is a treasure trove of delicate and prehistoric formations; stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and crystals, as well as showcasing many fossils, from cockles to kina shells. Come sink your teeth into the adventure for everyone.
top pick UP Surf Coaching
from
$900
Raglan

South Island Surf Coaching Trip with UP Surf Coaching

This trip involves 5 days of surf coaching around the Dunedin coastline. You will have your surfs filmed daily and your technique reviewed post surf. Your coach will provide customised feedback throughout, plus there will be land based training sessions and skateboarding. All accommodation and transport to the waves is included. You'll be hanging out with a small group of like minded surfers, the vibe is always supportive.
top pick Raglan Rock
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$50
Raglan

Raglan Rock Mountain Biking

We're so stoked to have partnered with Cyclery raglan to bring you high quality bikes, so you can make the most of all the biking opportunities Raglan has to offer. With the awesome Te Ara Kākāriki mountain bike trails, cruisy Wainui bush park, or a safe and comfortable cycleway into town, Raglan is certainly a place to hire bikes. With an offering of sizes on high quality mountain bikes, we ensure we have something for everyone. Whether you're an experienced mountain biker wanting to shred the trails, or a cruisy Sunday rider wanting to explore the bush and town, we have you covered.
top pick Raglan Rock
from
$95
Raglan

Raglan Rock Karioi Glowworm Canyoning

As you descend, you’ll climb and abseil the cascading waterfalls all whilst under the light of your head torch, and the luminescent shine of the glow worms! Feel safe in the company of an experienced guide, as they lead you on a great adventure. Throughout the trip hear the stories, history, and knowledge of the landscape and local area from your passionate guide. As darkness falls, you’ll begin to see the luminescent transformation take place. Witness new worlds of light being created by the native New Zealand glowworms who call this place home. Take a minute to stop for a moment of peace and tranquillity, with a hot cup of freshly made Kawakawa tea. All equipment, photos and instruction is provided.
top pick Wahinemoe
from
$30
Raglan

Raglan Boat Charters - Sunset Cruise

Raglan Boat Charters is located at the Raglan Wharf on Whaingaroa Harbour, the West Coast of New Zealand's North Island, 40 km's from Hamilton and approx 150kms from Auckland, Tauranga and Rotorua. About our Cruises: Departing Raglan Wharf aboard the Wahinemoe to explore the charm of Whaingaroa Harbour – cruise past large conservation reserves, farmland and fishing villages. You will see marine wildlife and ancient limestone rock formations, and listen to fascinating tales about the history and culture of this very special area. Your friendly skipper and crew will take great care of you and make sure you have a magical experience. The sunset cruise is the best and its extremely rare on the west coast to find such an excellent viewpoint.
top pick Raglan Rock
from
$499
Raglan

Glowworm Canyoning Experience - Private Tour From Auckland By ExperienceKart

Visit the award-winning Hamilton gardens and the Waikato’s most popular visitor attraction. As the sun goes down, be guided by the light of the glow worms and stars and descend into the old freshwater canyon stream flowing down from Mt Karioi. Explore natural underground formations and caves with a canyoning expedition in Raglan. This is a highly rated, truly magical canyoning experience.
top pick UP Surf Coaching
from
$299
Raglan

UP Surf Coaching, 3 and 5 Day Beginner Surf Course

UP Surf Coaching is all about providing high quality surf coaching for those that want more than a one off experience. Our aim is for you to actually feel like a surfer at the end of one of our surf courses – ready to surf on your own with confidence. On the 'Become a Surfer' course you will be equipped with all the skills and knowledge you need. Group sizes are always 6 or less people - you get a lot of personal attention and have space to move around without a huge crowd all around you. The course progresses in stages from mastering the basics in the whitewater, using your rails and starting to focus on surfing across small waves, then getting you out the back to catch bigger unbroken waves. You'll be surprised how fast you progress.
top pick Raglan Rock
from
$375
Raglan

Raglan Rock, Sport Climbing Course

Grab your climbing partner and come learn the fundamentals of lead rock climbing on bolted sport routes, with some of New Zealand’s highest qualified instructors. We will have you lead climbing before you know it. The course will cover: Lead belaying, quickdraw placement, clipping methods, safety considerations, how to lower and clean a route safely and lots of climbing. Get in touch now to book yourself onto one of these awesome days. Whether you are a beginner taking the next step, or a seasoned pro, that has perhaps had some time away and wants to sharpen up their skills before going alone once more, we’ve got you covered. Equipment, from our office to the crag and back and free photos all included.
top pick Peter Auzinger
from
$35
Raglan

Green Wave Raglan

With three world-class point breaks and a user-friendly beach break, Raglan is New Zealand's premier surf town. The surf breaks cater to all ability levels ranging from first-timers to the world's best. Led by local surf pro Zennor Wernham, the team at Green Wave runs daily lessons at Ngarunui Beach. We are fortunate to have the most experienced surf team in Raglan, and we are proud to have a 100% successful stand-up rate on our surf lessons. Top-Rated Surf and Stay Options Available. Free Photos Included. Free Pick Ups/Drop Offs in Raglan. Stand Up or Money Back Guarantee.
top pick
from
$7
Raglan

Raglan Old School Arts Centre

The Old School Arts Centre is run by the Raglan Community Arts Council in a 19th century heritage building in Stewart St, Raglan, New Zealand. The Arts Council supports the arts in Raglan and acts as an an umbrella organisation for Arts Raglan groups and individuals involved in art and craft. The Old School Arts Centre is used by the arts community and friends of the arts in Raglan, Whaingaroa, New Zealand. Exhibitions and arts workshops as advertised. Movies one weekend a month. The Clay Shed, a community pottery is a very active part of the centre. Raglan Creative Market every second Sunday, rain or shine, with local food, crafts and art.

Top accommodation in Raglan

top pick
from
$215
Waiuku

Castaways Resort

Enjoy ocean front studio or chalet accommodation. All accommodation has sea views, super king beds, wireless internet, Sky TV, kitchenettes as well as private decks.

Select one of Castaways Resorts popular Packages combining accommodation, dining and your choice of activities or pampering or just come and stay the night and relax. Facilities include: Castaways Restaurant & Bar - award winning cliff top restaurant open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner and afternoon dining experiences. Bookings required.

Bersantai Day Spa - for all of your pampering needs. Adventures - archery, clay shooting, combat arrow tag and frisbee golf.

Facilities and Features

Breakfast
Conference Facilities
Dinner
Disabled Access
Internet (Public Use)
Laundry
Licensed Bar
Lunch
Restaurant
Room Service

top pick Raglan Sunset Motel
from
$179
Raglan

Raglan Sunset Motel

Tucked in behind Raglan's shopping and dining strip, Raglan Sunset Motel is minutes walk to the harbour. Choose your level of adventure - kayak to the Pancake Rocks, hire bikes, climb Mt Karioi, visit Bridal Veil Falls, go fishing, follow an arts trail or simply take a sunset stroll to catch the harbour cruise. After a day out exploring, come back to your ensuite studio, 1 or 2 apartment, relax in the sunny guest courtyard and fire up the BBQ. Our spacious rooms are newly refurbished with a casual coastal style and a spacious bathroom serviced daily. A spa is a perfect tonic before sleep. Our Conference Room is perfect for smaller groups to stay, work or celebrate together. Interconnecting and wheelchair accessible rooms are available.
top pick Molly McCabe
from
$180
Raglan

Barrique Studio at Barrelled Wines Raglan

Our exclusive bespoke wines, not sold anywhere else, are available to purchase. We now have wine from our 2022 and 2023 harvest available - choose from our delicious home-grown Syrah, Rose, and Pinot Gris. Separate guest studio situated behind our family home. The property offers stunning views of Ruapuke beach, farmland, native bush and Mount Karioi. The sea view/vineyard view is not from the room itself; rather from a free-standing deck further along from the room (a very short walk along a path). Our unique barrel sauna with full glass front showcasing a world-class view is available for use by paying guests of the Barrique Studio. Guests need to book a sauna time in advance by messaging us.
top pick Canopy Camping Escapes
from
$300
Raglan

Canopy Camping Escapes | Lovebird Cottage

The super-stylish wee cottage is nestled into a private section of an orchard - overlooking the undulating countryside and Parawai stream. It's a peaceful spot with calming energy, perfect for taking your mind off stresses and unwinding. The cottage has a kitchenette, lounge area, bathroom and comfortable queen-sized bed. The undercover porch has a bar leaner and BBQ - ideal for prepping that delicious alfresco feast. Wander down a short winding path and natural limestone staircase from the cottage and you'll reach a beautiful bush bath. Further down is a small shaded deck under a Kahikatea tree. It's the perfect place to sit with an evening drink and take in the magic of the streamside bush setting.
top pick Molly McCabe
from
$310
Raglan

Foudre Suite at Barrelled Wines Raglan

Our exclusive bespoke wines, not sold anywhere else, are available to purchase during your stay. We now have wine from our 2022 and 2023 harvest available - choose from our delicious home-grown Syrah, Rose, and Pinot Gris. Fully private, separate guest suite. Enjoy the stunning uninterrupted views of Ruapuke beach, lush native bush and Mount Karioi. The kitchen is fully equipped. Tea and plunger coffee is provided. There is a ceiling fan situated over the bed to keep you cool on those hot nights. And for winter, enjoy the cosy fireplace. Please note there is 4km of gravel road prior to our house - if you do not feel comfortable driving your car on gravel then this may not be the best place for you to stay at.