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Return to Raglan

Posted 24/6/2016

It had been nine years since our last visit to Raglan so we were looking forward

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to our visit.  Mid-afternoon four of us checked into our accommodation, Kaitoke on the Bay.  It’s a spacious three bedroom home with a lovely sea view. It can be a bit of a worry when finding a place on the internet.  You never know until you get there if it will be as good as the pictures show, however the features were exactly as described.  Our host was extremely helpful and let us know we could reach her anytime if needed. 

We then enjoyed a stroll around the shops and down by the beach.  Last time we visited, we stayed in the camping ground over the bridge so we took a wander over there.  It was a glorious day and there were quite a few enjoying the fresh air including several people fishing.  After reacquainting ourselves with the area we realised we were famished so we headed back to a place we had been recommended called “The Shack”.   It looked just like our sort of place but there had been a cycling event, the room overflowed with lycra clad people and sadly there were no available tables.  It was 2pm by then and we desperately needed food so we turned to the place across the road, Black Sand Cafe, which was nearly empty.  I’m not sure why because we had a delicious meal there.  Stars of the show were the open steak sandwich and roast vege salad.   I’d happily go there again.

We decided to go back and light the fire so our house was warm.  The accommodation had an excellent fireplace that heated the whole house.  A heater was provided in the downstairs bedroom but it wasn’t needed. 

Next morning after breakfast we took the short coastal walk to town to see the Whaingaroa Market that all the locals were recommending.  It’s not held every weekend so we were grateful that we had chosen a ‘correct’ weekend to visit.  The stall holders were chatty and interesting and there were musicians in both the front and back areas.  Displayed inside were some wonderful Raglan wearable art pieces. We noticed that every second person appeared to be walking around with a homemade pie  so we were obligated to follow the crowd of course.  Delicious!  There was also a stall with fresh juices so we indulged in one of those too.  The market appeared to have a philosophy of locally made and quality. The clay room was remarkable and the woman there explained that children in Raglan have the opportunity to work with clay more than any other area in New Zealand.  I highly recommend this market. 

We then took a drive to the beach where we watched surfers for a while and also several paragliders who were enjoying the lifts along the coast. We took some time to admire the sign-posted sculpture area on the clifftop.  Our tummies were talking to us again so we went to the fish and chip shop  on the wharf where the fishing boats come in.  A man was inside filleting fish and across the room the fish is for sale.  You can buy it fresh or ask for it battered with chips.  2x tarakihi and chips was $12 and 2x dory and chips was $11 so we got one of each.  I don’t know what we were thinking as each portion was easily enough for two people.  They were proper hand-cut chips too not those mass-produced ones. It tasted so amazing, no wonder the queue stretched right out the door when we got there.  There was a lot more seafood to choose from than fish and chips, including a huge pot of seafood chowder.  I wonder which other towns in NZ have fish straight off the boat that can be prepared on the spot?

We spent the next few hours taking a closer look at the Raglan shops and wandering the pretty town. It’s wonderful that although Raglan has become more populated since we last visited, and there are a lot more dining options, it still carries the same friendly Raglan vibe. If you want to see more photos, several will be uploaded to our instagram (@waiheke365) over the next few days.

The next day we drove North back to Auckland and our friends dropped us at the city wharf.  Docked was a cruise ship, the Pacific Pearl, and the passengers were boarding with their luggage.  They all looked so happy!  We turned and towed our wheeled cases onto the Waiheke ferry.  Maybe next time.  

It’s good to get away and it’s good to get home. 

Till next time

Tina and Iain

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