Hotels in Raglan (North Island, New Zealand)
Hotels in Raglan
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Why Raglan Is All the Rage
From the scenic surfing opportunities, to the thriving arts scene, and to trails past exotic terrain, Raglan has it all. This hidden gem of New Zealand’s north island is still partially a local secret, half undiscovered, providing a unique holiday opportunity that your friends will be envious over. Raglan is home to the magnificent Mount Karioi, beautiful Bridal Veil Falls, and wonderful world-class beaches.
Once you see the waves that rise above Raglan’s beaches, you’ll know why this is a major surfing hot spot, not just in NZ, but also the world. Many surfing competitions are held here throughout the year. Whether you’re a beginner or a world-class pro, you’ll appreciate the nature of the area. Manu Bay, located just a ten-minute drive from Raglan, is known for one of the longest rides in the world. Surfers from all over the world come for a taste of the waters here. You’ll feel as if you’re being let in on a secret, because guides books often won’t list it as a “thing-to-do” of the area. Ngarunui Beach is the most famous beach of the area, known for its volcano-stained black sand. It’s a popular summer destination for many New Zealanders, and the beach you’ll hear the most about. However, it’s far from a tourist trap and well worth a visit. If you’re aching to try out surfing, this beach is probably the best place to do it. Because surfing has become one of Raglan’s key lifestyle highlights, many surf schools have begun advertising lessons for visitors. Some hotels have even started offering accommodation and surfing lesson packages.
Unveiling Bridal Veil Falls
Also known as Waireinga Falls in the native Māori language, Bridal Veil Falls is a must-do for any visitor to the Raglan area. This stunning 180-foot (55-metre) waterfall is hidden within the Waireinga Scenic Reserve, but is easily accessible from the main roads and via a short ten-minute stroll through the Tawa tree-filled forest. There are several view points in the area that yield to spectacular vistas, and allow for unforgettable photo ops. However, if you want to get an amazing view that cannot be captured by a lens, take a hike down 261 paved but steep steps to the fall’s pool. It is absolutely worth it, and no one has yet regretted it. Do be careful though, as the trail can be slippery at times. If you’re eager to do some hiking, from the falls you can easily access the Pipiwharauroa Way, a four-mile trail that ventures deeper into the forest.
Aspiring Arts Scene
Aside from surfing, Raglan is also known for its stunning scenery and bohemian lifestyle that yields birth to many creative artists. Raglan is known as the home for some of the best artists of NZ. Once you see the stunning scenery, you’ll see why. It is ever inspiring! There are plenty of galleries and studios to explore, and local markets to scavenge for truly unique souvenir shopping. If you’re visiting during the New Zealand summer season, consider staying for the last weekend in January, also known as Anniversary Weekend. That is when Raglan holds its Raglan Arts Weekend. It’s an opportunity to visit various galleries and studios that are not always open to the public, and see all the best local and visiting artists. This event brings in visitors from all over New Zealand, so make sure to book a hotel early to grab the best rooms.
Pack the Hiking Boots
Raglan is well known for its water sports, but also its thrilling trails. Whether you’re looking for a simple stroll through the woods or an advanced and challenging trail, you’ll be sure to find something to suit your level of skill. For a simple stroll, consider Bryant Memorial Walks, which features a couple trails that are less than an hour round trip. It’s an easy way to explore the wonders of local nature without too much strain. One of the treks there leads directly to Ngarunui Beach, so make sure to bring a swim suit to take advantage of the moment. For the more experienced hiker, Mount Karioi awaits. The trail is over three hours one way, so plan accordingly. If you’re up for it, the view at the top is totally worth the effort. The summit has two trails, each starting at opposite sides of the mountain. The Mt. Karioi track is the trail that that starts closest to Raglan. It is more challenging but also so much more interesting, and is highly recommended. The other trail, Wairake Trail, comes from the other side, and is an option for those who don’t want to make a round trip via the same route.
Hotels in Raglan
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