Experience the laidback lifestyle in Raglan with its beautiful black sand beaches and world famous surfing spots.
Enjoy a romantic ‘3 Bridge walk’ in the evening after your relaxing cruise.
Have a hands on experience with one of the many water activities before heading on a 4WD adventure the next day.
Two 4WD tracks await you with stunning views of the coast line which take you into the Waitomo Caves region. You will have plenty of time to discover the magic of the caves.
Raglan, a small township on the western coast around 40kms west of Hamilton, is a quirky place where you can find true Kiwi hospitality and is also the surf mecca of New Zealand.
Spend your day exploring. We suggest the following stops on the way:
Mercer Cheese Shop: Buy some of the award winning Dutch cheeses for your romantic getaway to Raglan Zealong Tea Plantation: Do a little detour to visit the tea plantation in Hamilton and enjoy a stop at the restaurant there
Hamilton Gardens: Explore one of 18 uniquely themed gardens.
Raglan: Explore the town centre and its cute cafés.
Raglan Sunset Harbour Scenic cruise (included)
You will be sailing with Raglan Boat Charters and their friendly skipper & crew aboard either the WahineMoe (VIP Captain’s table Seating) or on the intimate Harmony II, for a magical Sunset Cruise! The hour and a half cruise departs from the Raglan Wharf and features magnificent scenery, wildlife, ancient lime-stone rock formations, interesting stories & exploration. You will be treated to a gourmet nibble platter and a bottle of bubbly while experiencing some great Raglan hospitality.
After your cruise, we suggest the romantic ‘3-Bridge-Walk’ in Raglan, which is a leisurely walk over the 3 local bridges.
Accommodation: Bow Street Studios
The property offers 7 beautiful self-contained waterfront studios. Each studio has 2 levels and their own individual style. Bow Street Studios are located in the heart of Raglan and are the ideal place for a romantic getaway.
This morning you are booked in for the following activity:
Maori Bone Carving Class (included)
You will be treated to a slice of modern Maori culture with renowned painting and sculpture artist Simon Te Wheoro. Simon operates from his Toi Hauauru Studio which is located on the outskirts of Raglan. The 3 hour class will feature creating your own Maori inspired bone carving souvenir...which will contain meaning and memories that will reflect on your time visiting Whaingaroa (Raglan). Class time is 9am - Noon.
After this class, you have time at leisure in Raglan. How about a nice lunch in one of the many cafés? How about a Surfing Lesson? Learn to Surf at NZ’s premier surfing destination. Raglan Surfing School is rated amongst the top 10 outdoor adventure providers in New Zealand! Surfing lessons are designed either for the complete beginner or those wanting to improve their skills. Lessons are held daily at 2pm throughout the year, 7 days a week.
The first 4WD route will take you along Raglan’s rugged coastline, then to Bridal Veil Falls.
We suggest the following stops on the way:
Ngarunui Beach: Great beach with amazing views over the bays from the top car park.
Whale Beach: Famous surfing bay.
Te Toto Gorge: Overhanging Viewing Platform (only accessible with 4WD)
Ruapuke Beach: Very nice picnic stop (only accessible with 4WD)
Bridal Veil Falls: Spectacular 55m high Waterfalls. 10 minute walk only from the car park to the first viewing platform. Another 10 minute walk to the lowest viewing platform.
The second 4WD track takes you from Bridal Veil Falls along the harbour inlet to Kawhia, where stone formations and habour inlet views wait.
Kawhia: Lovely little township with unspoilt harbour and nice cafés. Hot water beach, please check the tides first.
From Kawhia, head via Otorohanga to Waitomo. There will be time to explore Otorohanga on Day 4.
Accommodation: Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge B&B, Waitomo
Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge is situated on a hillside just as you come in to Waitomo Caves Village, with lovely views over the surrounding countryside. The guest lodge is surrounded by gardens with numerous shrubs, trees and flowers.
This morning you are booked in for a Glowworm & Cave Tour.
The Cave of the Spirit (Te Ana o te Atua) is the first cave in Waitomo, explored and recorded by a European. On this small group tour (max. 12 people per group) visit two different caves, by boat and foot, and get a personalised tour with plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Find out more about the fascinating and almost magical little glow worms, and view them up close in their natural habitat. The tour includes transport and takes approx. 3.5 hours in total.
Waitomo: We suggest lunch at Roselands Restaurant before leaving Waitomo. Great BBQ lunch!
Drive from Waitomo to Rotorua via Otorohanga.
Otorohanga: This quirky township is the Kiwiana capital of New Zealand. Do the Ed Hilary Walkway and learn more about some Kiwiana icons. Good place for souvenir shopping!
Continue on to Rotorua and follow the rest of your itinerary.