Welcome to one of New Zealand’s great surf towns where a laidback lifestyle, great coffee, boutique shops and a left-hand surf break will get you kicking off your shoes and enjoying the friendly coastal vibe in no time.
The Māori name for Raglan – Whāingaroa – translates to ‘the long pursuit’ and refers to the lengthy search for a suitable harbour by one of the original Maori ocean-voyaging waka (canoes).
We’ll drive through a landscape of rolling green hills and farmland dotted with cows to get to Raglan, but once here, the ocean and the 13 km-long harbour is the main focus.
Surfers Get Glassy-Eyed in Raglan
Experienced surfers will be amped to get their fins salty on the longest, most accessible and consistent left-hand break in the world. Raglan’s premiere break made its cinematic debut in the 1966 classic surf film, ‘Endless Summer’.
If the conditions aren’t great, the Raglan Museum is home to some more legendary surf history.
For those who’ve never surfed before and would like to give it a go, don’t worry, we can arrange a surf lesson for you (weather dependant) when your tour group stops in Raglan.
Other Things to See & Do in Raglan
If surfing isn’t your thing and you’re more into organic coffee, locally grown cuisine, hand-dyed garments, upcycled artisan crafts and yoga, then Raglan is also your happy place! You could easily spend a few hours enjoying a long brunch in the shadow of huge Phoenix palm trees, or wandering the intriguing shops in search of that special souvenir.
Upon arrival in Raglan, we’ll take a sunset cruise on the harbour and you’ll see the local pancake rocks. Similar to Punakaiki in the South Island, these intriguing compressed rock structures were formed over millions of years.
Bridal Veil Falls
Located in a scenic reserve near Raglan, Bridal Veil Falls is an impressive waterfall that drops 55 metres into a natural amphitheatre. Make sure you take your camera on the walk as there are viewing platforms at the top, in the middle and the base of the falls – accessed by 261 steps – a very scenic workout and a impressive Instagram update! The waterfall, which indeed does look like a traditional bride’s veil, is known to Māori as Wairēinga (water of the underworld).
not to be missed
You may hear the locals mentioning gigs at the ‘yacht club’; don’t make the mistake your friendly Haka Tours editor made and go looking for a venue of hob-nobbing boating blokes and beauties. It’s Yot and not yacht, Touring musicians and DJs will tell you that the Yot Club (corner of Volcom Street) in Raglan is one fun night out.
Overlooking Raglan, bush-clad Mt Karioi is an ancient volcano. If you’re staying here for more than a day and are an experienced tramper, we recommend taking a day-hike to the summit and taking in the spectacular views of all the local harbours and as far south as Mt Taranaki.
Photo Credits: Raglan Kayak, Raglan Rock, Raglan Boat Charters, Raglan Surf School
Tours including Raglan
An unrushed exploration of the North Island’s top attractions including the Coromandel, Tongariro National Park, Rotorua & Wellington.View tour
A sample platter of North and the South Island highlights including the Coromandel, Tongariro, Rotorua, Kaikoura & Christchurch.View tour
New Zealand Uncovered
Uncover all the beauty, adventure, culture and fun activities of New Zealand and tick practically everything off your bucket list.View tour
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