Raglan has always been a magical, mystical place for me. For years I’d heard people talk about this cool little town on the edge of a magnificent harbour, where you could ride some of the best waves in New Zealand by just hopping off the rocky shoreline, or climb to the summit of Karioi, a 2.4 million-year-old extinct volcano, or descend to the base of the spectacular Bridal Veil Falls.

About 10 years ago the pull of this mysterious place proved to be too strong, so I strapped a longboard to the roof rack of my Jeep and headed off for a day trip from Auckland – it’s around a two-hour drive from Auckland or just 45 minutes from Hamilton. The last part of the drive winds through some beautiful countryside, giving you tantalising glimpses of the blue-green waters of the harbour before you finally descend into the pretty town centre.

Looking out over Ngarunui Beach

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