We may travel in search of adventure, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy really good food. We are foodies but adventure comes first and that’s why we love Raglan. Because with one of the best waves in the world, beautiful nature to explore, and delicious food to savor afterwards, Raglan might be one of our favorite towns around. Raglan has managed to keep a small town feel despite holding one of the most well known waves in the world (thanks a lot, Endless Summer). The town and residential area is very pedestrian friendly and we really enjoyed being able to walk around town from our accommodation. Raglan is one of the best towns for adventurers and foodies so here are 7 things to do in Raglan:
Surf Manu Bay
When this wave was discovered in Endless Summer, little did those 2 surfers know that they found one of the most perfect, and at the time uncrowded, waves in the world. We’ve surfed a lot of the best lefts in the world but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more perfect wave than Manu Bay.
But this comes with consequences. The localism is pretty bad. This is saying something because we’ve surfed breaks like Steamer Lane and Trestles—waves known for having localism—and let me tell you, those breaks are nothing compared to Manu. All I mean by this is to be respectful to locals and have common surf etiquette. Despite all that, when you do catch a wave here, it will be EPIC.
When you finally get a wave at this pristine bay, the ride is so immaculately perfect that you will be overcome by that little surf addicted side of your brain. And that’s why you’ll love Raglan, because as hard as the crowd is, those 10-20 seconds of perfection make it all worth it.
Manu just has the perfect combo of speed, power, and most importantly length (seriously you could ride a 10-turn wave) for an intermediate to advanced surfer.
And whether you get skunked or stoked, there’s a pretty cool town to enjoy even after a fun session. Take note that the crowds in the water are significantly worse on the weekends so avoid them if you can.
Note: If you are a beginner surfer, I recommend surfing Ngarunui Beach (aka NGs).
Hiking Mt Karioi Summit
Though we didn’t have the time to make this trek, every day we stared at the mountain Peak, that can be seen from most parts of town, and thought about how awesome it would be to hike it.
It’s no easy hike. It’s a long 6-8 hot day hike but I hear the views are totally worth it and can be seen the whole way up. The trail is accessed from Te Toto Gorge. Click here for info on hiking Mt Karioi.
Volare Bread from the Herbal Dispensary
Sometimes I wonder if the only reason I love Raglan is because of this bread. The sourdough breads sold by this little heath food store are addicting.
After a long surf session, nothing tastes better than the incredible cranberry walnut bread with a little New Zealand butter. If you’re lucky enough to be here on a weekend (unlucky surf-wise), try the Dispensary’s amazing almond croissants.
Related: 3 Week New Zealand Itinerary
Gelato at The Food Department
This isn’t adventure either but the gelato is so good here it almost lives up to Italian standard.
Pistachio, coconut, and the deliciously salty salted caramel will leave you craving more and are another perfect snack after hiking, surfing, or mountain biking.
Explore Bridalveil Falls
If you’re thinking, meh I’ve seen a lot of waterfalls, I don’t need to see this one, then think again. What makes seeing this 1,000 foot waterfall unique is the multiple viewing platforms.
You can see the waterfall from the source on top, a wide angle view of the falls and the surrounding pocket of rainforest, a close view from the side, and a view from the pools at the bottom of the falls. The surroundings ain’t too shabby either. The rainforest is lush and beautiful. This waterfall requires very little walking but has lots of stairs. Definitely worth a visit.
Coffee from Raglan Roast on Volcom Lane
All coffee lovers raise their hand🙋🏽
Not only does Raglan Roast have some frickin delicious coffee beans, but their coffee is located on the cobbled streets of the back alleys of Raglan—a vey pleasant spot to enjoy some coffee and pastry.
Related: Tips for Camping in New Zealand
Mountain Biking Te Ara Kakariki
Though not as epic as Mountain Biking Rotorua, this little networks of trails immersed in the forest of Raglan has some fun, easy rides.
Cyclery Raglan offered mountain bike rentals and is only a 15 minute ride to the trails from the shop. Click here for more info on trails and rides.
Need accommodation? Click here to find the best deals in Raglan.
What are your favorite things to do in Raglan? Let us know in the comments or share any questions you have about visiting!
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