Take a drive out of town and see these waterfalls. It's worth the trip, and doesn't take too long. Around a 20 min drive out of Raglan, and a 15 min walk to the bottom of the falls. Several views, including being able to get to the top and looking right down to the pool at the bottom. You stand on the viewing platform right over the fall at the top, it's rather awesome!
For more photos visit my Bridal Veil Falls Travelogue.
You can take surf lessons here at Raglan. And this is the place to learn in NZ, as the surf is great and the surfies live here.
Even the High School does a course in surfing and surfy kids from around the country come here to go to school and are billetted around the town.
2003 prices were $79 for 3 hrs, wetsuit and board provided.
Lessons twice a day, 11am and 4pm.
The benefits of Raglan are that it has both an ocean beach for surfing as well as a quiet inner harbour that can be explored in small boat or kayak.
One of the things to do is hire a kayak off Raglan Kayak and go for an explore of the upper harbour.
They operate from two locations: In town at the Bow Street jetty by the water as well as at the Wharf on Wallis Street
Raglan is a quaint little surfing community located on the west coast of the North Island about an hour west of Hamilton. It's a small town with a few shops and restaurants but it's biggest attraction is the waves...recorded as the longest left-hand break in the world (although I've been told that is in Pavones, Costa Rica, so who knows?) There are some neat surf shops too. and be sure to check out Vinnie's - in my restaurant guide. On your way to Raglan - turn off at the Bridal Veil Falls exit. It is about a 10-minute hike to the bottom and it is beautiful! About 50 meters (I think) long and very powerful. You can hike to the back of the falls, but be careful it is very slippery and there is only a small chain to hold on to.
If you time your arrive in Raglan at the right time you will be able to either participate in or view the Raglan Classic Car and Rock n Roll Festival. In 2010 it is being held on 13th and 14th February between 9am to 3pm.
Raglan's Ocean Beach has a fabulous reputation for surfing as well as bodyboarding. If you don't have your own board there are plenty of places to hire one. Even on the days when the swell isn't that large you can still have a great time.
Ocean Beach is also known as Ngarunui Beach and can be found 5km west of town.
Raglan's Ocean beach is a fabulous place to take a long walk. You can access the beach by the surf club and walk towards Raglan heads and the famous bar (sand bar not the other kind). Lots of lovely black sand and sand dunes.
Raglan’s Ocean Beach provides spectacular views of the Raglan Bar and is a wonderful picnic spot as well as good for swimming (if the surf isn't too big). Lifeguards patrol the western end of the beach during the summer months. It is safest to swim between the flags, as there can be strong undertows at other areas of the beach making swimming dangerous - especially on the outgoing tide.
Te Kopua Beach is right next to town across the footbridge. This is a popular family swimming spot as you can swim in the calm waters of the estuary. It is close to the motorcamp as well as the point where you can go fishing.
Manu Bay which is also known by its local name of Waireke is primarily a surfing beach and is world famous for its left-hand break. This picture was taken when the break was quite small. Apparently surfers come from around the world to compete in the international surfing competition held here every summer.
The lookout overlooking Ocean Beach is a fabulous spot for model plane and glider flying. The day we were there a group of guys had a mix of planes and gliders they were putting through there paces. Really incredible to watch the skill these guys had.