Wish You Were Here: Raglan, North Island, New Zealand

by Owen James Burke

Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand, living in a van (or soon to be) with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD


Manu Bay, post surf, post sunset, full moon. Photo courtesy: Owen James Burke.

A quiet, tidy but lush little beach town with an epicurean spirit, Raglan is home to some of New Zealand’s best surf. While it still breaks the same, it has started to go the way of Malibu; keep your wits about you when paddling out here. That said, it’s not to be missed.

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There’s a parking lot there now, and like Malibu, there are kids skateboarding everywhere. Screenshot from Endless Summer.

If you’ve only ever watched one surf film in your life, it’s still likely that you may recognize this locale from Bruce Brown’s 1966 classic, Endless Summerfeaturing Robert August and Mike Hynson.

Watch the New Zealand segment of Endless Summer below. As chance would have it, Bruce, Robert and Mike and I happened to be at Manu Bay on the very same moon, 60 years apart. -OJB

(Skip to about 3:20 for Raglan)

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