Raglan, aka Ragtown, is an awesome, laid-back beach town with some of the best surf in New Zealand. It has a seductive power for many – chances are the people working at your hostel were originally just passing through, but have ended up staying for months to ride the waves and bask in Raglan’s unique ambience.
Raglan is home to black sand beaches and world-famous left-hand surf breaks. The breaks are found at three main points: Whale Bay, the Indicators, and Manu Bay. Manu Bay, 8km from Raglan, is probably the most famous; it hosts international surfing competitions and was featured in the 1966 cult classic surf film the Endless Summer. The left-hand break here is one of the longest in the world.
Raglan is about a 45-minute drive west from Hamilton and features several nice cafés and shops on its main street, as well as a few surfing schools. Be warned, you may get bitten by the Raglan bug and not want to leave.