Whether you’re an adrenalin junkie, an adventure seeker, a foodie or you just want to relax in a beautiful setting, then consider carefully where to holiday this summer. One location offers all this and more – and it’s closer to home than you may think.
Raglan is a hotly sought after destination for everyone from families wanting to enjoy the beach and an array of adventure opportunities; to city dwellers keen to learn paddleboarding or surfing and kitesurfing, as well as athletes looking for fresh challenge – and of course those just wanting to kick back, relax and immerse themselves in exquisite local crafts, food and beach life.
The opportunities are many and varied and there’s much to love about the concept of a Staycation. Forget about the hassle of travelling overseas – just grab your friends and family and enjoy the scenic and short trip to Raglan.
When it comes to adventure seekers, Raglan is a definite hot spot. For those seeking thrills and spills, it’s something of a mecca, with hardcore kitesurfing, mountain running, cliff jumping, rock climbing, paragliding and more.
And if you want to learn or try a new sport or activity, the area is packed with instructors and opportunity.
Cementing Raglan’s place in the adventure market, one of the latest additions to the impressive Bow St shops is the world’s first Ozone Multi Sport Store . Whether you want to kite, paraglide or speedfly, or just find out more about these exhilarating sports, head along to meet the friendly team at Ozone.
If you want to scratch beneath the surface; canyoning, caving and climbing adventures are available through Raglan Rock. Jump off waterfalls, be surrounded by the wonder of glow worms in local caves, abseil down cliffs – make it a summer to remember. Glow worm canyoning is a spectacular and must-do inclusion in your summer holiday plans.
Choose to explore Raglan on foot, by land or sea. Raglan Watersports offers a variety of gear for hire from bikes and paddleboards, as well as fishing kayaks if you fancy catching something fresh for dinner. Lessons are available for all levels.
If you’re a keen cyclist, you’ll appreciate the impressive Te Ara Kakariki mountain bike trails. The 5km trail network loop, overlooking the Tasman Sea and Whaingaroa Harbour, offers a bit of everything for all levels. Trails “Hateful 80” and “Alley Oop” are ideal for younger cyclists, and “Rope a Dope” is the Raglan mini version of Rotorua’s famous “Corners”. If you want to get the adrenaline pumping, make sure you suss out the jumps and speedy downhill of “Denny & Brenny”. Once known as just a surf town, Raglan is putting itself on New Zealand’s cycling map. Besides hosting the Karioi Classic winter cycling event for the last eight years, the Te Ara Kakariki mountain bike trails are set to become a major drawcard. Bring your own bike or you can rent one. Trail information and maps are available at the local bike shop, Cyclery Raglan.
Then there’s horseriding on the black sand beaches, hiking trips, fishing, waterfalls and the opportunity to scramble up Mount Karioi; an extinct, forest-clad volcano with summit views over the Tasman Sea.
And of course, Raglan is famous for its world-class surf breaks, with the long, peeling left-hand break of Manu Bay said to offer one of the longest rides in the world (and featuring in the 1966 surfing film Endless Summer). For those who are learning the skill of surfing or wanting a more family friendly option, around the corner is Ocean Beach – ideal for less experienced or beginner surfers. Raglan Surf School offers lessons for beginners, plus private lessons for those looking to enhance the skill base they already have. Try the Surf Dames Retreat – a women’s only surf school based at Raglan’s Whale Bay.
Relax and enjoy
When you’ve had your daily adventure fix, relax and enjoy the many superb food and coffee options. Raglan Roast is of course the local coffee brew and the perfect way to start your exploration of the local foodie scene.
Explore the many raw and vegetarian/vegan food menus at different cafes, pop into Solscape’s Conscious Kitchen to try the plant-based menu or treat yourself to succulent fresh seafood (easy to find in the village), with Raglan Fish selling the day’s catch from its wharf-based shop. Fresh produce is readily available at farmers markets and there are plenty of locally crafted offerings such as Raglan Coconut Yoghurt (joy in a jar).
Raglan is away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday corporate world with wellness is a definite focus – yoga and massage studios, wellness retreats and eco-based getaways are in abundance. A visit to The Herbal Dispensary is a must for its amazing selection of natural body and health products.
Solscape offers accommodation options with a difference; with refurbished vintage train cabooses, earth domes, tipis and belle tents.
There’s no shortage of amazing accommodation — check into the Silo penthouse for something unique. The silos are a stunning refurbishment of old concrete silos and a few steps walk from some of the finest handcrafts Raglan has to offer – Tony Sly potter and Soul shoes, bags and boots.
Whether you’re a backpacker looking to immerse yourself in all that is special about New Zealand, a family wanting some together time.