This morning, we set a course west and headed for the coastal town of Raglan. The journey from Cambridge took around an hour, and as we approached Raglan, the road became much more twisty and winding. The scenery was stunning, and more than enough to keep anyone happily occupied.
Raglan used to be quite a small town, but as with so many other places in NZ, its population seems to have exploded in recent years. Although it’s a little too far away from a big town for my liking, it’s not hard to see why so many people are flocking to live there. It is beautiful!
The black sand is due to the volcanic region in which Raglan is situated. Mt Karioi in the Pirongia Forest Park, is close by, and is (I am happy to report!) an extinct volcano. In very hot weather, black sand is very hard (by which I mean hot!) to walk on, but today it was merely beautifully warm and I was pleased to take a walk along the water’s edge and even paddle in the sea!
I was particularly pleased to see several stunning examples of the beautiful pohutukawa tree, the red blossom of which, combined with its flowering period that coincides with December, is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree.
We stopped for lunch at ‘Raglan Fish’ and had the most delicious fish, chips and squid rings meal. I mean, in this location, what else would we have eaten?! I had gurnard for the first time. It is caught locally and could not have been fresher!
Raglan is on the west coast and there is pretty much nothing but sea for thousands of miles, between here and Australia, which is quite a freaky thought! This is also a very popular spot for surfing.
Overlooking the beach, there was an interesting compass, with statues standing at north, south, east and west – representing water, fire, earth and air at particular compass points.
From Raglan, we went to the Waireinga/ Bridal Veil Falls. A short walk through the bush took us to a look out point from which we could see the falls in all its glory!
Such a spectacular sight!