Tauranga to Raglan
Tauranga – Ohope – Taupo – Raglan. This trip explores some of the North Island’s coastal and inland gems.
You’ll begin on the East Coast and explore the stunning Bay of Plenty with its golden sandy beaches and friendly locals. From their you’ll dip in land to tranquil Lake Taupo and past the mountain peeks before ending up on the other side of the country at a lively surfing town called Raglan.
Location start and finish:
Tauranga to Raglan
Tauranga, Ohope, Taupo, Raglan
Tauranga and The Mount
The journey starts in Tauranga. Only two and a bit hours from Auckland, it’s a place where many city slickers escape for a weekend and end up staying for years. You’ll want to head to Mount Maunganui – it’s only 15 minutes from Tauranga town and is a mini Gold Coast with all the beauty and none of the tackiness. Head back to TGA town and saunter down the Strand checking out the cafes, bars and restaurants. When you’re ready for some mountain adventure, head to the Kaimai Forest Park. You’ll find slices of paradise in the mountainside with loads of little pools and water- falls – ask a local for the top spots.
The East Coast road to Ohope
Once you can pull yourself away from Tauranga it’s time to head down the coast. Your destination is Ohope beach – recently voted New Zealand’s favourite beach. In a country literally surrounded by stunning coastline, that really is saying something! Ohope locals often brag about getting the most sun in the country and they sure do make good use out of it. You’ll want to spend as much time as you can at the beach if it’s sunny – you can surf, kayak or take out a fish charter to catch some bigguns. Make sure you keep an eye out for White Island – an active volcano a few miles out to sea.
Inland to lake Taupo
Now we leave the coast and head inland to Lake Taupo. Catch your breath at this idyllic lake side spot. You can cruise the ferry and if fishing is your thing you’re in a top spot. The thermal hot pools are a must to ease your tired traveled out body too. You can enjoy these all year round. Then, when you’re fully rested up and ready to get stuck in again we reckon you throw yourself out of a plane. Seriously. Sky diving over the lake is one of the cheapest adventure falls around and lets you look over snow-capped volcanoes and down on the giant lake. There’s a bungy jump and plen- ty of rivers to splash down too for you to get your adrenaline junkie fix.
Off to the West Coast
Now it’s time to head West to Raglan, a small surfing town with a load of culture and a very distinct mellow vibe. You’ll feel it as soon as you head in through the palm tree lined main drag. The locals welcome travellers from all walks and the town draws a very Bohemian, international crowd. You can put this down to the epic surf that Raglan’s left hand point breaks offer. It’s not all about the surf though, the township offers several decent cafes with killer flat whites and cute craft shops.