Raglan well known as a surfing meca in New Zealand and is located on the west coast around 45 minutes west of Hamilton city. Drive through to Whatawhata on State hwy 23 and follow the signs to Raglan, the drive is through farm land and there is a viewing area for the wind turbines and a look out point at the top of the pass.
Thr Raglan community is situated right on the harbour side there are cafes and little shops to browse through all along the main street, this small town is a unique coastal post card the views of the water from around the shore line are stunning, there is a bridge crossing over the inlet which takes you over to Marine Parade which is a beach inside the harbour entrance.
A short drive along Wainui road and through the local neibourhood you can turn right into Wainui Reserve car park, this is basically the main beach area which stretches from the harbour entrance along to Manu bay, and from here on to Whale bay is all rocky. although Whale bay has a small sandy beach. At Manu bay there is parking and a good boat ramp although you need the right conditions to be able to launch a boat here, there is also a basic boat launch back at Marine parade but you need high tide and you have to negotiate the bar crossing when launching from here.
The beachs back inside the harbour are a bit more protected from the ocean swells and westerly winds, but are not suitable for kids to swim as the currents here on the out going tide are really strong, you can walk from Raglan township all the way to Whale Bay and the views on a nice day are stunning.