Raglan, black sand and laid back vibe, here we come. It’s a harbour town with dramatic west coast scenery, known as a mecca for surfies and artists alike.
There’s the Māori name, Whāingaroa… “the long pursuit”. It took a while for the waka to make landfall there, the story goes. And maybe there’d be plenty of local surfies and artists cracking a smile hearing this. Because it seems to fit in just so many ways. All of Raglan’s good things take time. It’s a town for long pursuits indeed.
Raglan sleeves and all
Raglan’s European name was adopted in the 1800s, in honour of the 1st Lord Raglan. Who, as it happens, is the same guy of Raglan sleeve fame. You know, the sleeve with the diagonal seam up to the collarbone, that gives you more room to move - a regular casual t-shirt cut.
And this is the kind of place where you’ll definitely come across a few raglan sleeves in the main street. How fitting. (Well, actually no. Not fitting at all. That’s the point. Pretty loose, really.)
The long pursuit for the big break
Just like that waka, and all other good things in good time, getting to Raglan still takes a wee while, from most places in the north.
But having arrived, you’ll find yourself right by the sea, and very close to famous famous surf breaks… so super duper famous they’ve even been in the movies. It all makes perfect sense, when you find out that you’ve stumbled upon one the longest left hand breaks in the world. If you happen to know what that means.
And some real west coast food
But if you’re not one for hanging ten, or the waves just aren’t cranking, there’s still plenty here. There’s that vibrant local art scene, with artists’ studios all around. And a plentiful supply of real good New Zealand west coast food.
If ready-to-eat is your thing, there’s a bunch of cool cafes and eateries to hang out or get takeaway. These are places to chill, and pick up on the distinctly surfer retro vibes. Including a favourite in a repurposed woolshed where you can paddle board up for a flat white. Now that’s Raglan for you.
But it’s also a place where you are sure to find a great local food selection, to take home for you to add your own spot of style… roasted coffee, organic produce, fresh bread, and a classic local butcher with rotisserie chickens spinning daily. This town’s also home to Raglan coconut yoghurt, a bright white probiotic that these days is pretty much as famous as the surf breaks. You’ll find it in the shop shelves all over.
And, like we said, it’s seaside, so there’s every chance of fresh fish sold on the wharf when the weather’s been kind. When you’re down that way, you might spot hardworking Noeline parked up on the side. And don’t miss out on the divine tableware of the very talented Tony Sly on the wharf’s inland side.
It has to be said that, with a market tote full of Raglan’s finest, sorting your next meal is a breeze. Sticking with that laid back vibe, throw a few things together and just let the local ingredients take the stage and shine. Here’s our Raglan inspired kokado, and to see how we made it click here.