Why you should move to Raglan

Newshub looks at the realities of upping sticks and leaving Auckland. This week: Raglan.

It's one of New Zealand's most famous surfing spots, with a young creative population, a great food offering, decent nightlife for such a small town, and a do-able commute to the Waikato capital of Hamilton. Could Raglan be for you?

What's going for it?

Healthy living. Raglan is a town full of fit young things, all sporting wakeboards and flat whites, walking barefoot through the town.

It's one of the most well-known surf spots in the country, and the community that has sprouted around it is vegan, artistic, environmentally conscious, creative and welcoming.

What's not?

The connections aren't great - the road to Raglan is practically a dead end.

Housing is limited - expensive to buy and hard to rent, particularly in summer, although the 500-section sub-division Rangitahi to the west of the town may go some way to changing this.

In the winter, things are quiet - restaurants may either close or limit their hours. And in the summer, local surfers have to suffer through the tourists taking their waves.

What does the mayor say?

Waikato District Council's Raglan councillor Lisa Thomson says: "Whaingaroa/Raglan is a special community.

"We are diverse, we are people who have grown up here, tangata whenua with a strong sense of history and place, we are people who have consciously moved here to live a life less ordinary nestled under our mountain with the ocean lapping at our shores.

"It's beautiful, why wouldn’t you move here?"

Raglan Roast: worth the queues
Raglan Roast: worth the queues

Can you get a good cup of coffee?

It's Raglan Roast and everyone knows it. This hole in the wall now has six outlets around the country. They roast it themselves and sell it fresh, by the bean or the cup, and it's worth the queues.

Anything happening after sunset?

The Harbour View Hotel, Orca bar, Valentes and the Bow St Depot all have regular shows.

The YOT Club is Raglan's late-night venue, with gigs every couple of nights. 

What about culture?

Raglan has it going on. There are open mic nights, vegan pop-ups, permaculture classes and meditation sessions.

Plus they're plastic bag free and have an incredible zero-waste initiative, Xtreme Zero Waste

The town hosts arts festivals, food festivals, and the annual SoundSplash. You won't be bored.

Can you afford a house?

Prices start around $270k for a basic two-bed, rising to past a million if you're after space and views to die for. The average value at the moment is around $600k.

Decent schools?

There's one playcentre, five primary schools and an area school for years 1 to 13. Plus a bunch of surf schools for out-of-towners needing to skill up.

Bus services run students between Raglan and Hamilton.

How well-connected is it?

The drive is two hours from Auckland, one from Hamilton.

There are a couple of buses in each day from both towns, but you might want some travel sickness wristbands on before you attempt that journey.