Manu Bay, Raglan on a hot summer's day. © Desmond D

Surfing in Raglan: surfing mecca


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Hang ten, ride the green tunnel, it’s always tubing off the point at Raglan...

Actually they’re usually long, glassy, left-hand breaks at Manu Bay, Raglan’s most famous surfing spot. But Raglan itself has multiple spots for some seriously good surfing. World-class, in fact, with boards from across the globe descending, especially, logically, in summer when major surfing comps hit town. And so do a thousand Kombi vans. All playing ‘Barbara Ann’.

But there’s kite-surfing, windsurfing, and body surfing, too, at myriad spots along the coast, all with something slightly different to offer, all worth a good look and catering to various skill levels.

Once you’ve dealt to all that, shake the salt and sand out of your boardies and head to town.

The world has caught up to Raglan (or maybe it’s the other way around), so while it is a true surfing Mecca, its café life is as happening as that in any decent-sized city.

There are serious boutiques as well. Yet it’s delightfully tinged with the beachside touches that remind you in no uncertain terms where you’ve parked your jandals.

While the waves are a major attraction, they are only one of many. There are sheltered inlets aplenty, so you can kayak, the kids can dawdle and paddle – you can just generally take it easy in the warm water in any way you choose. There’s a tonne of accommodation across the spectrum, and heaps of great surf, boat and beach-related stores, should you need a bit of kit. And plenty of locals well-placed to teach you how to handle that left-hand break at Manu if you’re a bit green, so you can head off into the big blue with the best of them.

It’s untold, bulk heaps choice (dude), and one of the country’s fabbest spots.

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