My first stop in the north island after flying into Auckland was Raglan. After leaving Australia it was nice to be back in a relaxed surfing town. Raglan is the most popular surf town of the few surf towns in New Zealand; Raglan has been able to maintain its style and reputation for surfing. Raglan’s left hand surf break at Manu Bay is believed to be one of the best surf breaks in the world and was even featured in the surf film The Endless Summer.
When I was in Raglan there were numerous water based competitions going on. The first was a local paddling competition happening at Raglan’s Bay and the second was a surfing competition at Manu Bay. It is no surprise that I have found myself in a town focused around the sea. I enjoyed watching the competitions throughout the day and just being close to the sea. I especially enjoyed watching the surfers ride the left hand surf break right to the beautiful beach.
Although I didn’t have a lot of time in Raglan it was long enough for me to be able to satisfy my yearning to be back by the ocean. I hadn’t been by the sea since I was on the west coast of the south island midway through my south island tour. Sitting by the ocean with the fresh sea air flowing through my hair, while cooling my skin rekindled my connection with New Zealand. The smell of the ocean in the air made me stop for a moment and take a deep breath to appreciate living in the moment. Enjoying a fresh baked pie mid-day has become my favorite go to meal in Australia and New Zealand, especially when enjoyed by the coast. A pie is the perfect picnic. My day ended by watching the sun set over Whale Bay from Inspiration Point on Mount Karioi at the Karioi Lodge. Arriving in Raglan was the perfect welcome to the north island. I couldn’t have planned a better day myself for starting my tour of the north island in New Zealand. Stray brought me, a lover of the sea, to the perfect place for my first day on the north island.