Raglan is one of my favourite towns in New Zealand. Situated on the West Coast of the North Island, it is known for its surf and black sand beaches. I was lucky enough to spend some time there earlier this year, whilst there I wrote a list of the top 5 things to do whilst you’re there along with my favourite coffee spots and eateries!

1. Surf

Raglan is a well known west coast surf town! It attracts all things that surf towns attract: Good food, good nightlife and great vibes! The go-to surf spots are Ngarunui (Ocean) Beach, Manu Bay, Whale Bay or Ruapuke. They are all amazing surf spots when the swell is perfect – most have a little walk across rocks to reach but totally worth it! If you are a beginner, there are surf rental shops and hostels in the town which offer lessons and shuttles to the best spots.

2. Paddleboard down the River to Rock-It Cafe

When the tide is high in Raglan, there’s a river which flows from the town all the way to a cafe called Rock-It. An absolute must if you are here is to rent a paddle-board and take yourself along this river, stopping for food/coffee at Rock-It before making your way back again.

3. Kayak to Pancake Rocks

The hostel we were staying in (Raglan Backpackers) supplied Kayaks and Paddleboards for a super reasonable price (30NZD for 1 hour). 1 hour is plenty of time to head out to Pancake Rocks and explore this beautiful bit of the west coast.

4. Walk the Coast Track

There’s a lovely walk around the waterfront over the bridge and back into town that’s beautiful at sunset or sunrise! You can also jump off the bridge, a lot of the locals do this on the weekend.

5. Explore the Bridal Veil Falls

Only a short 20minute drive from Raglan is the Bridal Veil Falls – well worth a visit! Just 10-minute walk through some woodland from the car park you reach the top of the falls, a beautiful place to take photos and admire the 50m waterfalls. Another option is to walk another 10 minutes further down to reach the bottom of the falls.

My Favourite coffee spots:

  • Raglan Roasters – if you head around the back there’s also a great spot to chill on sofas, charge your electronics or work on your laptop! I spent a few mornings here getting some laptop work and admin done! 
  • Outside Indi’s – a quirky coffee spot that’s super tasty
  • La La Land – Chocolate, Coffee and Waffles!

My favourite spots to eat:

  • Rock-It Kitchen – great for breakfast and lunch – all the avo and halloumi you could wish for!
  • George’s Beach Club – Super tasty pizza (GF & vegan options available), Fish Chowder and Veg Dumplings!
  • The Shack – Great to Breakfasts and Brunches!
  • Roll up – My favourite spot for wraps and sandwiches!
  • Ulo’s – Japanese spot with the best tasting Vegetarian Dumplings and Bao Buns I’ve ever had!
  • Clover – great vegan and vegetarian grains and bowls!
  • Lifted – it’s actually a reformer pilates studio (also great to check out – super cheap!) and has a counter outside that offer really great acai and smoothie bowls!

If you’re planning a visit to Australia or New Zealand…

I booked my Campervan that I had the whole 3 weeks that I was here through Ratpack Travel – they are the absolute BEST in the business. They are a Australian and New Zealand focussed Travel Agency that book all trips and transport in both countries. They can undercut all the online rates meaning it’s the cheapest place to book any Campervan for your trip around Australia and New Zealand!

Lydia Collins

Author Lydia Collins

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