12 Hours Raglan
Casual beachy vibes, friendly people and a delicious food scene are all found in Raglan, a township with a penchant for zero waste and keeping New Zealand beautiful. The perfect destination for a day trip, and we have just the guide to help you..
Raglan is known for its black sand surf beaches, and its passion for protecting the environment and the local art scene. Located 48km west of Hamilton, it’s a haven and retreat for many Kiwis in the summertime to surf, relax, eat and explore. Surrounded by gorgeous blue oceans and lush green bush, you will be snapping photos of the scenery wherever you go - Raglan has even been named ‘New Zealand’s Best Looking Town’ by Lonely Planet. So have your Keep Cup ready for a big cup of coffee, pack your swimsuit, towel and jandals for the beach, and enjoy 12 hours in Raglan.
Sunrise: Start your day with a dose of nature on the Bryant Memorial Walk
Ngarunui Track access from Wainuiragland
There’s no better way to start the day in Raglan than with a beautiful sunrise walk through a coastal forest filled with native tree ferns, nīkau palm, kawakawa and kōwhai. That’s precisely what you will get along the Ngarunui track of the Bryant Memorial Walk, an abundance of natural beauty.
The walk takes you to the beach, where you can take a moment to breathe in your surroundings before continuing with your itinerary. Only 10 minutes from the centre of Raglan, beginning the morning with this connection to nature, will set you up for an incredible day.
9am: Breakfast of champions at The Shack
19 Bow Street, Raglan
The Shack is the place to eat in Raglan, serving up the finest local produce and delicious Rocket Coffee. With vegan, gluten- and dairy-free options and free-range eggs and meat, you will be hard-pressed to find something you don’t want to eat on their menu. You could opt for a breakfast bagel with a twist or plunge into full adventurous mode with an order of their chilli crunch rice - we don’t think you’ll have any regrets.
10am: Raglan Surf School
Ngarunui Beach Road, Raglan
When you’re visiting one of the country's most popular surf spots, you might as well try and catch some waves yourself. No matter your skill and experience level, Raglan Surf School caters to newbie frothers right through to more experienced seadogs, offering board and wetsuit hire and lessons. They welcome people of all ages and abilities to come along and try, holding a belief that everyone can (and should) have a go at catching a wave. Professional guides and all equipment supplied means you just have to turn up with enthusiasm and a mean shaka.
12pm: Grab some lunch at Rock-It Kitchen
248 Wainui Road, Raglan
After a busy time catching some waves, no doubt you will have worked up an appetite! Luckily Rock-It Kitchen is a short drive away, set in a cosy woolshed and surrounded by native plants, this café is the perfect lunch spot. Their menu will have you drooling, and they have all taste buds covered; from bao buns to arancini balls to fish tacos, the food here is always on point.
1.30pm: Start on some retail therapy at ULO’s
5 Bow Street, Raglan
Feeling fed and content, a spot of retail therapy might just be what you need next. Head back to the centre of Raglan where you’ll find ULO and their eclectic collection of vintage clothing, records and art. Sitting proudly on the corner of Bow Street, ULO celebrates bohemia, uniqueness and beauty; no matter your style, you are sure to find an item in this store you will want to walk away with. A beautiful range of hand-drawn creations by artist Kyoko Shirai, adorn the walls, as well as printed jumpers and tees.
2pm: Continue your sustainable shopping fix
92 Wallis Street, Raglan
Close by on Bow Street is Merkaba, a collective hub and store that opened in this location in 2019 and is known for its wide range of high-quality New Zealand hemp products. Also supporting natural healing and wellness is The Herbal Dispensary, a beloved part of the Raglan community since 1996. Not only is there the dispensary part of their business, but also an organic wholefoods shop too for you to stock up on all kinds of goodies.
Head along Wallis Street and out to the wharf where you’ll find Soul Shoes, the place to go if you want long lasting unique shoes, bags and belts. Mindful of the environment, Soul Shoes creates products that are made to last, and have been doing what they do best since 1973.
2.30pm: Complete your shopping quest at local favourite Tony Sly Pottery
90 Wallis Street, Raglan
Close by on the wharf is Tony Sly Pottery, where the ceramics are made with love right here in Raglan. Using terracotta clay from Dunedin, Tony shapes honest, useful and handmade pottery for cooks using colours from our landscapes - watery greens with turquoise soft blues and whites inspired by the harbour where his studio is located. From pasta bowls to mugs and utensil jars, you’ll want to take a piece of Raglan home with you.
3.30pm: Afternoon caffeine boost at Raglan Roast
Volcom Lane, Raglan
Head to Raglan Roast for a good ol’ cup of coffee after all of that shopping. Located in their “hole in the wall” coffee shop on Volcom Lane, they roast coffee daily to make sure it's at its freshest and best. The best part is you can take their beans home with you, to keep experiencing the joy a cup of Raglan Roast brings, everyday in the comfort of your own home.
4pm: Walk to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls
Now that you are freshly caffeinated take a drive 20 minutes out of Raglan and walk through the native forest following the Pakoka River to the top of Bridal Veil Falls. There are two viewing platforms at the top of the falls that give a stunning view of the falls and the surrounding lush greenery. You can then descend to a bottom viewpoint for more glorious views. The track is 10 minutes one way, and the higher viewing platforms are suitable for wheelchairs and prams.
6pm: Dinner at ULO's Kitchen
6 Wallis St, Raglan
From the same team behind earlier mentioned ULO’s, the restaurant and bar brandishing the same name are all about the eats. ULO’s Kitchen serves up a delicious array of Asian-inspired dishes, including bao buns, karaage chicken and spicy laksa to name a few. The quirky and eclectic space is filled with reclaimed furniture and spatterings of vintage and colourful mural paintings.
Photo supplied by ULO's Kitchen.
8pm: Wrap up your day at The Yard Music Cafe & Bar
Round off an epic Raglan day with a nightcap at The Yard Music Café & Bar found down Volcom Lane. This local hangout is known for its chill vibe and great music, with live performances often on the cards. Whether you’re feeling like one of the house specialty cocktails, a G&T or a pint, the friendly bar staff at The Yard will sort you out and leave you to enjoy a well-deserved wind-down.
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