From breathtaking mountainous treks to the most amazing surfing swells, Raglan, New Zealand (also known as Whaingoroa by the local Maori) has the best terrain for the outdoor adventurer with delicious seaside cuisine and a well known music scene. Whether you decide to lay low and peruse the monthly Sunday market at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre or take a walk along the Pakoka River to see Bridal Veil Falls, you will not be disappointed with your precious time spent on one of New Zealand’s most popular North Island destinations. The restaurant scene boasts seafood cooked straight from the day’s catch and walking distance from venues showcasing some of New Zealand’s most popular rising bands. A welcome respite for those looking to get away from hectic schedules and confined spaces, Raglan is soon to become one of travel’s best kept secrets. Keep reading to learn more about the best things to do in Raglan!
1. Take a stroll or lace up your hiking shoes for a variety of trails
Wander to your heart’s content! Raglan has an array of walking trails that welcome anyone looking to take in New Zealand’s beauty from a fascinating heritage trail to seaside sunsets. There are multiple paths within the Wainui Reserve that take you along the warm beaches as well as bush paths where you can explore local flora. If you’re looking to learn some of Raglan’s history, there is also a thirty-five minute walk through town that documents the first landing of a European vessel in 1836, to how the town was established throughout the 1900s.
The walking trails within the region have been well documented and are available to explore on the town’s own website. A walking club, The Raglan Ramblers, also meets on Wednesday mornings in the Wainui Reserve to host walks that range from 5 km (3.1 mi) to 15 km (9.3 mi) and welcomes anyone interested in joining.
Address: Wainui Rd, Raglan, New Zealand
2. Ride unparalleled waves with quiet beaches
Raglan boasts amazing surf breaks such as Indicators, Whale Bay, Manu Bay and Vortex Bay. For the experienced surfer there are many options to choose from when it comes to opportunities to ride large swells which is why Raglan has been home to world championship surfing competitions.
If you are an amateur looking to take advantage of the amazing sea side then one of New Zealand’s premier surfing schools, Raglan Surfing School, can be your ticket to surfing paradise. The surfing here has been hailed by companies like National Geographic for being one of the top surfing destinations in the world so if you’re looking to enjoy the ocean in its top form, then Raglan is where you want to be!
Raglan Surfing School
3. Enjoy a variety of bands at nature's side
Raglan is home to the Soundsplash Music Festival, where one can listen to amazing music while contributing to a no-waste, sustainable concert set up! Raglan enjoys being a stopover for multiple bands in venues such as The Yot or The Raglan Old School Arts Centre. Here you can catch musicians playing Irish music to Reggae music and all while being accessible to amazing restaurants and seaside locations. The music scene in Raglan has long been a favorite for listeners and musicians alike for its laid back vibe and enjoyable surroundings.
4. Get ready for a trek like no other to visit an extinct volcano
Raglan is home to Mr. Karioi, an extinct volcano with two trek options to reach the summit. For the experienced hiker there is an advanced trail that requires the use of chains and ladders to reach the summit. This trail from the Te Toto Gorge car park can give you views of several other volcanos within the region and, of course, amazing views of the sea. The second option is from the Ruapuke Road car park and provides less avid hikers the option to reach the summit and come back within six hours. This trail allows the hiker to experience the native landscape as they steadily climb to the top.
5. Find local culinary favorites and support community artists at the market
Feel the local energy of Raglan by coming out to the Raglan Creative Market every second Sunday of the month. You’ll be able to shop for local art crafts and goods created by residents of Raglan as well as try some of the seasonal produced and native foods. The market has something for everyone from wooden toys to freshly baked bread. A wonderful way to spend a lazy Sunday and then relax by the seaside and enjoy your market treasures!
Raglan Creative Market
Address: Old School Arts Centre, 5 Stewart St, Raglan, New Zealand
6. Experience the beauty of a waterfall up close and personal
Bridal Veil Falls is a handicap accessible attraction that won’t disappoint any spectator. With a viewing platform that allows you to take in the enormous strength of the water as well as the beauty of the lush surroundings, this waterfall has been a major draw for tourists for generations. The walk leading up to the falls goes along the Pakoka River and takes you through a stunning countryside. This gem of nature is one you won’t forget.
Bridal Veil Falls
Raglan, New Zealand has something to offer for every vacationer
This quiet paradise will be sure to please as it entices the adventurer to experience the beauty of nature with a vibrant dose of culture. Raglan, New Zealand will surely become a memorable vacation spot for those looking to enjoy the sea, take in local culture, and relax with good music and food. Whether you’re looking for a small break from your confined office space or a long hiatus from a hectic life, Raglan will welcome you to a lush environment with lots to offer.
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