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Quirky cafes and luxury stays: How to spend a weekend in Raglan

By Kathryn Chung

<em>Blackwood Cabin</em>
Blackwood Cabin
With its laid-back, eco-conscious atmosphere, stunning black-sand beaches and vibrant array of boutique shops and eateries, Raglan feels like a quintessential Kiwi destination for a weekend getaway.

Food and drink

It takes about 10 minutes to walk down Raglan’s main street. Despite its small footprint, this beach town is thriving with food and drink options.

You don’t have to look far to find good coffee in Raglan. Locally roasted coffee can be found at INDI and Raglan Roast, while The Shack is a delicious brunch spot.

INDI cafe

Rock-It Kitchen is a great stop on a drive out to the main beach. This rustic cafe has seriously delicious food both in the cabinet and on the menu. Try to get a table out on the main deck, and relax in the leafy surrounds.

With views out to the harbour, Orca is a fantastic spot for a lazy afternoon beer, boasting an impressive range of craft brews, local wines and tasty gourmet fare.

ULO’s Kitchen serves up vibrant Asian fusion dishes and is a perfect example of Raglan’s eclecticism, its quirky space also serving as a venue for live music and art.


The first thing you’ll probably want to do is hit the beach. Ngarunui is the main swimming beach, while Manu Bay and Whale Bay are the local surf spots. The estuary in town is also great for families, with activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding fun ways to explore the inlet.

Ngarunui beach

If you want to stretch your legs, enjoy the short forest trail to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls just out of town, or enjoy the 18-kilometre return Pipiwharauroa Walking and Biking Trail over farmland to the hilltop wind turbines. Mount Karioi, an extinct volcano that overlooks the town, has two fantastic hiking tracks that lead to the summit, great for an adventurous day trip.

Paddleboarding in the Raglan estuary

Boutique shops abound in Raglan and there are plenty of places to browse homewares, clothing and beauty products, many of them from local makers. The aforementioned ULO’s has another outpost for vintage clothing, records and hand- drawn illustrations. Browse the curated fashion goods at Atamira, and stock up on eco goods at SWOP.

Down by the wharf you’ll find beautiful handmade ceramics at Tony Sly Pottery, whose collections of kitchen pieces are thoughtfully designed in colours inspired by the natural surrounds.


Nestled among blackwood bush and a walnut tree grove is Blackwood Cabin. This luxurious tiny home, located just outside of the township, is a true haven in nature, boasting an outdoor stone bath, gorgeous outdoor deck with a barbecue, and plush furnishings.

Blackwood Cabin

Sleeping up to four, the Wainui Landing Apartment 2 is a stone’s throw away from the best swimming spots and a great place for couples and families. The light and airy apartment is thoughtfully designed with modern amenities, including a fully equipped kitchen, flat-screen TV, and balcony overlooking lush gardens.

Wainui Landing Apartment 2

Located right in town is Bow Street Studios, where you’ll find a charming historic cottage. One of the oldest homes in Raglan, the cottage sleeps up to five and features a master bedroom with a private deck, a sunny courtyard and full kitchen.

Eco retreat Solscape is a true gem in Raglan and boasts some of the best views around. With yoga classes, holistic massage treatments, beautiful gardens and its own cafe for plant-based dining, you’ll feel totally at ease here. Accommodation ranges from unique earth domes and garden bell tents to contemporary eco baches and an ivy cottage.

Photography: Hamilton and Waikato Tourism



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