Ngarunui Beach, Raglan, New Zealand

Scenes from Raglan

Everyone tells you not to plan too far in advance when you travel. Of course, when planning our trip we completely ignored this advice and scheduled our New Zealand itinerary in precise detail before we left London. It’s only now that we’re actually on the road that we realise how important it is to be flexible; as I type this we’re sat in Taupo, which has the hugest lake in Australasia, plenty of cute bars and cafes and a relaxed atmosphere – as soon as we arrived on a random afternoon trip we loved it and wanted to stay. Luckily we were able to check out of our extremely average hostel in smelly Rotorua and head back here, despite our rigid itinerary.

Another place we wouldn’t have considered visiting in New Zealand had it not been for the fact that some relatives of my mum’s friends were kind enough to invite us to stay with them there was Raglan – and we’re so glad we didn’t miss out on this wonderful place.

Visiting Raglan, New Zealand

It may be small, but what Raglan lacks in size it certainly makes up for in beauty and character. The sea-side town is surrounded by beautiful hills and fields on one side and the shimmering sea on the other. The main town is made up of only a couple of streets packed with independent cafes, shops and bars but it has a really bohemian, laid-back vibe and is bustling with locals, backpackers and tourists – it’s the perfect place to set up camp for a few days and relax. The beaches that wind alongside the town are some of the most spectacular we’ve seen in New Zealand so far and are apparently great for surfing – Jack Johnson even has a holiday house here and we can see why!

We’re so glad we made it to Raglan and would urge anyone who’s visiting the North Island to make a stop there – our only regret is that we didn’t stay longer. Here are some snapshots from our few days in Raglan:

Whale Bay, Raglan, New Zealand

Whale Bay, Raglan

Raglan Countryside, New Zealand

Raglan Countryside

Ngarunui Beach, Raglan, New Zealand

Ngarunui Beach, Raglan

Bridal Veil Falls, Raglan, New Zealand

Bridal Veil Falls

Bay next to Raglan, New Zealand

The Bay next to Raglan


  • The Guy
    Posted at 16:44h, 20 March Reply

    Looks like a wonderful place. I’ve never heard of Raglan before so thank you for introducing it to me.

    • Amy
      Posted at 23:05h, 20 March Reply

      Yep, Raglan is a great place – make sure to visit if you’re ever in New Zealand!

  • Helen
    Posted at 09:46h, 23 March Reply

    I’ve hears Raglan was a highlight of the north but after your description of Taupo, I’m going to add that to my list of NZ locations. Love that you’re doing my research for me!

    • Amy
      Posted at 08:09h, 24 March Reply

      Hi Helen, yep, both Raglan and Taupo were highlights for us; I also loved the feel of Auckland. I expect once we get down to the South Island they’ll be loads more places to add to the ‘favourites’ list!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 02:33h, 25 March Reply

    It’s so true that it’s important to keep yourself flexible, but it’s also true that you can’t fully appreciate that until you’re actually on the road! Like you guys, we had the first month of our trip completely planned out with hotels reserved and everything. Now we are lucky if we have a place booked when we roll into town! I’m glad we only booked that first month of our trip in advance because as great as it was, it taught us how we didn’t want to travel for a year (or longer!). There have been so many great things we have discovered along the way that we had never even heard of when sitting in front of our computers back home… it sounds like Raglan was one such place for the two of you!

    • Amy
      Posted at 10:53h, 25 March Reply

      You’re right, I definitely think this is a lesson that can only be learned the hard way and I’m glad we learnt it early on in our trip too! We won’t be doing any more detailed planning from now on, although we know roughly which countries we’ll be in for the next few months and I probably won’t be able to stop myself from doing a bit of research on places in advance, I will try and be more relaxed about it though!

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