Things To Do
The Best Things to do in Raglan
Black sand for days, canyoning, wild waters, extinct volcanoes, scenic flights and a vibrant town jam-packed with locally produced goods; visitors to Raglan are spoilt for choice for things to do! With its laid-back atmosphere and style, Raglan town is the ultimate chilled-out destination for travellers from all over the world. Just a 30-minute drive from Hamilton, Raglan is an easy hub from which to take on the wild west coast of New Zealand. There are a number of different ways you can get to Raglan from Auckland Airport; car hire, taxi, shuttle or bus, and hiring a car lets you take a leisurely 2-hour drive from the airport, stopping wherever you like on the way as there’s plenty to see on the way.
Scenic Flight + Lunch from Auckland
Fancy flying to a gorgeous Raglan destination for a spot of lunch? You don’t have to actually travel to Raglan yourself to experience its beauty – our three-and-a-half-hour flight and lunch round-trip package from Auckland does it all for you!
View the ruggedly beautiful west coast from the air, complete with sweeping black sands and deep blue tides, as well as the rolling hills and Waikato River on your way there. We’ll touch down in Raglan so you can take a moment to relax with lunch at the Orca Bar and Restaurant overlooking Raglan Harbour before hopping on your return scenic flight back to Ardmore Airport in Auckland. On a scale of things to do in Raglan, this is easily one of the options that will stay in your memory the longest. Grab our Air Auckland scenic flight and get ready to sit back and enjoy an exciting package all laid out for you. It is also a popular and easy choice for those who want to make the most of their limited time through the Auckland area without missing out on seeing the west coast.
Hit the Beach
Raglan is famous for its surf-worthy tides, glittering dark beaches and rugged coastline. Raglan visitors spend their time catching waves, bodyboarding and refreshing with a bit of RnR, delicious local foods and local shopping before it’s time to hit the water again. Families love Te Kopua Beach, crossing the footbridge from town to enjoy the calmer waters and estuary – and if you’re feeling brave, join in on one of the most popular summer pastimes – taking a jump into the water off of the footbridge itself! If you want to see the famous black sand and world-famous surf spots, you can’t go wrong with Manu Bay and Ngarunui Beach, 8km and 5km, respectively, from the main town. Lifeguards patrol the Ngarunui waters in high seasons for monitored swimming and surfing, but the beach itself is also amazing for long walks and picnics, so you can enjoy the view without getting your toes wet.
For surfing enthusiasts, Raglan waters are internationally recognised as some of the best for waves and breaks. Newbies wanting to get surfing lessons can do so, renting equipment and learning under expert surfing instructors for an active holiday, and those skills are the best souvenirs you can take with you! For experienced wave catchers, Manu Bay’s long, peeling surf break is one of the most epic breaks you have to tick off your list; bring your own gear or rent some while in town!
Horse riding is one of the most family-friendly things to do in Raglan. This adventure is a favourite amongst travellers, getting you closer to nature in a uniquely fun way to explore the Raglan countryside and coastlines. From beginner pony rides to more experienced long treks, riders as young as four can enjoy this exciting Raglan excursion atop a new horse buddy. With plenty of providers of horse excursions available in Raglan, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for you and your family to take on the terrain you’re most comfortable with.
Experience the Landscape by Foot
Raglan sits in a beautiful part of the Waikato that is also the home of Mount Karioi, an extinct, forest-drenched volcano that offers spectacular summit views over the Tasman Sea that are well worth the hike. On a good day, you can see as far as the domineering Mount Taranaki, as well as all of the local harbours. The marked hike up Mount Karioi is 2-4 hours one way and is best suited to visitors with moderate to high level backcountry hiking skills with unabridged river and stream crossings to be expected, especially with high rains. There is an alternative route for easier access to the summit of Mount Karioi called the Wairake Track, which takes 4-6 hours there and back. For an easy access walk to view the famous Wairēinga Falls (Bridal Veil Falls), you can take a leisurely stroll up to the top of the 55-metre falls for an excellent view while taking in the sounds and sights of the native New Zealand bush. This walk is both wheelchair and pram accessible, so it is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.