Raglan

Raglan Travel Blog

 › entry 62 of 206 › view all entries
The view of Alderman Islands

Up early this morning and we drove towards Hamilton first for supplies, passing by a view of the Alderman Islands and learned a little bit about the Kiwi bird. The Kiwi bird is New Zealand's native bird, but like many flightless birds it suffered by the introduction of non-native species who predated on them, the most voracious and hated of which is the possum. The possum is well-loved in Australia as a national animal, but in New Zealand it is responsible for the degradation of many native bird species, and also for the destruction of much vegetation and natural habitat. It was introduced as a hunting species initially and populations were kept down by shooting and many people made good money selling the pelts, but when the fur trade came under attack, hunting stopped and the populations spiralled out of control.

Me on the Flying Fox
Now the national bird is an endangered species and much work goes into maintaining the remaining population.

We stopped in Paihia for coffee on the way, which is the home of the national drink of New Zealand, L&P. So the story goes there was a natural spring locally and a business was set up to sell the water, but then they added lemon and a fruit called Paihia and so was born the national favourite. The first time you drink it it tastes a bit bizarre, it seems to taste like no fruit I've tasted before, but I persisted and eventually decided it tasted much like I remembered Mountain Dew which makes it a lot more palatable.

We then raced on to Raglan, one of New Zealand's most famous surfing town.

Raglan Beach
When we arrived the surfing people were hurried off to the beach, and the rest of us explored the amazing Kariori hostel. The hostel is buried into the side of a coastal clifftop, and to access any part of the hostel you follow winding paths up the hilllside. The lounge was a huge wooden building, with free pool table, loads of comfy chairs and sofas, TV, videos, and a massive dining table. The staff kitchen was conjoined, and while guest food couldn't be kept here they were allowed full use of it to cook. Further down the hillside was the guest kitchen, a $2 sauna, an outside eating area. Elsewhere was a rope 'confidence course', a 'Flying Fox' zipwire, and a sports barn with more comfy sofas and stereo for use when drinking after 10pm, or for basketball, table tennis or surf lessons. There were several bush walks to go on, varying in lengths and difficulties.
Me on the rope confidence course
We were going to head on the bush walk, but since it was so sunny we decided to walk down to the beach. We walked down the road and down to the beach and stepped across the stones for a while until we stopped on a log and then headed back.

Back at the hostel I had bought in to a group mexican meal so we all got together and cooked in the staff kitchen. It was one of the best meals I've had for a while, and we played 'The Pirates of the Carribean' card game to decide who would do the washing up. I lost! We played some scrabble, at which I had an unfair advantage over the Germans and the Swedes being English! And then headed to our lovely comfortable room.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The view of Alderman Islands
The view of Alderman Islands
Me on the Flying Fox
Me on the Flying Fox
Raglan Beach
Raglan Beach
Me on the rope confidence course
Me on the rope confidence course
Raglan
photo by: ashleynpearson