Located in the sunny Waikato Region of North Island, Raglan is the ultimate surf district of New Zealand. Its stretch of black sand coastline bordering the Tasman Sea, coupled with the acres of forests and volcanic landscapes, makes up the perfect travel destination for those who love to taste varieties of adventure. We have compiled a list of things to do in Raglan. Take a look!
Table of Contents
- 1 Watch the sunset at Ngarunui Beach
- 2 Go horse riding at Ruapuke Beach
- 3 Visit the Raglan Wharf
- 4 Go surfing at Manu Bay
- 5 Visit the Bridal Veil Waterfall
- 6 Trek Mount Karioi
- 7 Join Raglan Rock Climbing
- 8 Visit the Te Toto Gorge Lookout
- 9 Go Kayaking at Whaingaroa
- 10 Join ‘Surf Safe’ for the best Surf Lessons
- 11 Immerse in Contemporary art
Watch the sunset at Ngarunui Beach
We can undoubtedly say that the beaches in Raglan town are simply out of this world. Such is Ngarunui surf Beach, also known as Ocean Beach. This black-sand coast, with its tranquil setback and perfect surfing waves, is a great swimming destination. However, the highlight is dusk at Ngarunui Beach. Many travellers visit this beach particularly to enjoy the laid-back nature and the breathtaking sunsets. It’s one of the best things to do in Raglan. Remember to carry a camera as the views can get photogenic at any moment.
Go horse riding at Ruapuke Beach
The fascinating black-sand beach of Raupuke stretch in Raglan is one of the most visited destinations on North Island. While it’s known for having the most consistent set of surf breaks, Raupuke Beach is much admired for horse riding, which is a unique activity here on the West Coast. Those who travel during mid-winter are promised a secluded time of their own. It is not advised safe for swimmers. However, be ready for a long walk from the car park, as the path to the beach is an unbeaten track.
Visit the Raglan Wharf
The Raglan Wharf is a major attraction in the Waikato Region of North Island. It houses a seafood eatery serving deliciously fresh fish ‘n chips, art galleries, a pottery spot, souvenir shopping stores and cafes. The Raglan Wharf is also a good place for bikers as they are allowed to ride around the Bohemian town setback, discovering the Wharf as well as the rest of the Raglan Township. If you have a particular interest in fishing, the Wharf is a great place to visit for travellers of all ages.
Go surfing at Manu Bay
The ultimate surfer paradise in New Zealand is surely the infamous Manu Bay. Located few kilometres south of Raglan, Manu Bay gained public attention as a surf destination following the 1966 movie called ‘Endless Summer’. The deep-blue enormous waves this coast invites to the rocky shores are unparalleled. Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and multiple places to relax and watch surfers in action, Manu Bay is the perfect place to go if you are hoping to be away from reality for some time.
Visit the Bridal Veil Waterfall
Easily spotted when walking along Waikato Walking Track, by the Pakoka River, this plunge waterfall stands elegantly at 55 meters. The Waireinga Scenic Reserve offers four viewing spots of Bridal Veil Waterfall. Many travellers are fascinated with the pool beneath the fall. The pool is said to have formed over time due to the direct water pressure from the waterfall. If you like scenic sights, hikes, and enjoy an energising walk, visiting Bridal Veil is one of the best things to do in Raglan.
Trek Mount Karioi
An ancient stratovolcano dating back 2.5 million years to the past, Mount Karioi Summit is presently a famous hiking track. Surrounded by lush greens from one side and the blue Tasman Sea from the other side, Mount Karioi is best viewed from Te Toto Gorge car park on Karioi Track, along with few other peaks such as Mt Taranaki and Mt Tongariro. Those who take the Wairakei Track follows through the farmlands. Travellers can start from one end and finish from the other for the complete hiking experience.
Join Raglan Rock Climbing
Adventure lovers visiting the North Island must include Raglan Rock in their Raglan New Zealand itinerary. Travellers can go canyoning under the night sky, explore the Waitomo glowworm cave, climb real rocks or even hire a bike and discover the city. If we were told to choose the best adventure experience on the west coast, Raglan Rock will surely be our top choice. Before you set out though make sure you’re fit for some exciting challenges. The Rock-climbing adventure can be tiring.
Visit the Te Toto Gorge Lookout
Offering splendid views of the rugged west, Te Toto Gorge Lookout is a scenic spot on North Island, situated close to Mount Karori besides the Tasman Sea. The Gorge was created by natural lava flow, and it was later cultivated by local Maori settlers believed to have arrived from Polynesia. Although today no civilization exists in the very place, remnants of their stone gardens, pits and plants still can be found in Te Toto Gorge. As the Gorge connects with Mount Karori, the descent down the hill can be a steep walk, so make sure to stay hydrated and fit.
Go Kayaking at Whaingaroa
The Raglan Whaingaroa beach and its iron-rich shores are occupied by stacks of limestone cliffs – also referred to as the pancake stacks – can be witnessed by travellers from the Raglan Harbour. The most exciting activity, however, is not sightseeing but the kayak adventure that awaits. The kayak around Raglan beach is safe and thrilling. Guides and instructors are always available to help you paddle along the rushing waters. If you’ve never been on a kayak ride before, Whaingaroa is the ideal place for an amateur.
Join ‘Surf Safe’ for the best Surf Lessons
If you love surfing, dream of becoming a pro surfer someday, or it could even be that you love to master the waves on the West Coast, head to Surf Safe for detailed surf lessons. Finding a beach around Raglan town is not a challenge. If you know the basics of surfing, you can visit a laid-back beach and practice surfing. It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Raglan.
Immerse in Contemporary art
The idyllic small town of Raglan is a famous location that houses some of the best art galleries on North Island. Some of these attractions include Jet Collective – an exhibit of traditional arts and crafts, Raglan Photo Gallery – an exhibit of spectacular surf photos and beach captures, and Toi Hauauru Studios – a souvenir shop with breathtaking arts and sculptures. If it is contemporary arts you enjoy, Raglan is the best spot in the town of Raglan and the surrounding vicinity.