Waikato is world-renowned for its surf, including world-class point breaks at Raglan and the hard-core left-hand reef breaks at Port Waikato.
The following water sports are offered at Raglan on the west coast:
SPORT AND GAME FISHING
The Waikato has some of the best fishing in New Zealand, with coastal areas, harbours, rivers and lakes galore. Here you can do sea fishing, harbour fishing, flounder netting, river fishing, trout fishing and whitebaiting.
Any person who wishes to go fresh water fishing or game bird hunting in New Zealand must first purchase a licence. The licence fees help cover the cost of managing the fish and birds and the habitat they depend on. Daily bag limits and seasonality apply for both fishing and hunting.
For further information on sports fishing and hunting in our coastal and wetland areas, please click here.
Beaches and harbours
Visitors from all over the world visit the Waikato to experience the district’s stunning West Coast beaches and harbours. Pounding surf, rugged scenery, vast, unspoilt black-sand beaches and large harbours are major draw cards for those seeking unique experiences at the sea.
Karioitahi Beach is located west of Waiuku in the north of the Waikato district. Karioitahi's rugged and windswept beach is used for surfing, fishing, horse riding, off-road motorcycling and, most notably, paragliding.
Port Waikato Sunset Beach
At the south end of Port Waikato township is Sunset Beach, a surfer’s gem with picturesque black sand and striking rock formations. Port Waikato is well-known for its whitebait fishing at the mouth of the Waikato River. In summer, the beach is patrolled by voluntary lifeguards.
Raglan (Whaingaroa) AND Raglan Harbour
Raglan Harbour, which shares its name with the small town on its western shore, is a 40 minute drive from Hamilton city and is a major drawcard for visitors from around the world. It was formed in the remote past by the drowning of a valley system of which the two major arms, Waingaro and Waitetuna, meander among mud banks and cliffs for more than 16 kilometres. The port, which shelters small fishing boats, is small because the harbour entrance is guarded by a sand bar. At least 3-4 times a year, Orca (killer whales) visit the harbour, chasing prey and delighting onlookers.
Manu Bay, Raglan
Manu Bay is a world-renowned surfing spot and attracts some of the world’s best surfers. Major surfing events are held at Manu Bay each year, attracting large international crowds. The bay has a boat ramp, providing access to some of New Zealand’s best deep sea fishing spots, including sport fish such as marlin.
Wainui Reserve and Ngarunui Beach
Wainui Reserve is a large, publicly-owned reserve above Raglan's stunning Ngaranui Beach. It offers spectacular views of the West Coast, from Auckland in the north to Taranaki in the south. The reserve hosts music events in a natural amphitheatre, and subject to council agreement, hosts a number of weddings each year. Ngarunui Beach is the Waikato’s most popular beach and is patrolled by voluntary lifeguards each summer.
Whale Bay, Raglan
Whale Bay is famous for its surf break and experienced riders brave the rocks to enjoy one of the fastest left-hand breaks in the world. There is a large grassed area suited for picnicking where visitors can take in the stunning seascape. The beach is not suitable for swimming.
Aotea Harbour is one of several large tidal estuaries on Waikato’s west coast and is just 27km south of Raglan. The small harbour is a tranquil oasis, tucked in from the Tasman Sea and close to the small, picturesque settlement of Kawhia. In summer Kawhia has an influx of visitors, attracted by safe beaches for swimming, kayaking, fishing, or windsurfing as well as the abundant bird life.