Happy New Year to everyone. A sincere thank you to those who purchased our exceptional stock in December. Your purchases not only brought joy to the recipients but also greatly supported our dedicated creators.
The summer season in Raglan always brings a flurry of activity, particularly at IHub. Here, both locals and visitors seek information and respite from the heat, often enjoying the cool comfort of our air-conditioned space. Our volunteers encounter a diverse array of individuals, from fellow New Zealanders to international travellers.
We recently had the pleasure of assisting young adventurers from Germany. Raglan came highly recommended to them, and after arriving by bus from Hamilton, they expressed concerns about their return journey. Thankfully, our knowledgeable volunteer was able to provide them with essential information, including a helpful app recommendation. Interestingly, these travellers shared their admiration for New Zealand’s public transport system, contrasting it with challenges faced by German railways, which have gained notoriety for delays and inconsistencies.
Another German visitor spending time camping here in Raglan was chatting to our volunteer and mentioned he was looking for a sleeping mat to make his camping experience more comfortable. She told him that she had acquired her own from xtreme zero waste – Kahu’s Nest – so contacted them to see if they had more available. To the delight and surprise of the visitor, they were able to provide him with one at the cost of $4. Initially he thought he was only renting the mat at such a low cost but finding out that it was his to keep was a pleasing result.
Americans often discover our appealing village after touching down in Auckland and seeking an escape from the rat race. One such visitor arrived on the inaugural Delta flight, enticed by a special package. Despite having just a week to explore, he found Raglan’s unique vibe so captivating that he’s already planning a return trip with his partner.
A charming American man was intrigued by a piece of local history: technology developed by a resident back in the ’70s. This innovation aimed to provide surfers with real-time updates on wave conditions, preventing wasted trips and conserving petrol. For those of us who can recall, this era also introduced carless days, a response to the oil crisis in the Middle East. Remarkably, that innovative technology remains in use, a testament to its enduring relevance and utility.
A traveller from the Netherlands particularly appreciated our collection of recycled clothing and assorted items. She couldn’t help but admire the lovely jewellery on display. However, she expressed some reservations about carrying an item containing paua into Australia, given their stringent regulations on shell products. Given that many New Zealanders frequently travel with and wear paua-containing items, her concerns were likely unwarranted.
Some Australians found themselves slightly puzzled by the pronunciation of certain Māori words, especially the ‘wh’ sound. While it sparked some light-hearted moments, they were genuinely eager to grasp the correct pronunciations of our local names. It’s a common experience for travellers encountering Indigenous languages in other countries.
We’re indebted to Lisa Thompson for shedding light on Raglan’s Māori name for one of our enquirers. Lord Raglan certainly never set foot in this region. Initially named Putoetoe, it commemorated the vast abundance of Toitoi upon the settlers’ arrival. The name Whangaroa, relating to the harbour and coastal area and was changed to Whaingaora by the missionaries of the time. This change was to distinguish it from another Whangaroa further north, a bustling trading harbour, much like the one Raglan boasted during that era, ensuring clarity in trade communications.
One of the season’s most unexpected visitors was a sizable, unleashed dog who took a keen interest in a tiny toy puppy sitting at our entrance. Being curious he crouched down, approaching the miniature figure with deliberate caution, aiming for a gentle nose-to-nose inspection. Upon realizing the toy wasn’t responsive, he sauntered away, in search of livelier company down the road in town.
Visitors often seek guidance, requesting maps and insights into summer activities, a service we’re always delighted to provide along with helpful information about accommodation, eateries, and other things of interest.
One visitor tried to use a museum tap as a shower, him being unaware of water rates and non-profit funding implications, led to an engaging conversation.
A perplexing question
A visitor posed an intriguing question about the history of a children’s camp that once overlooked the beach. We welcome anyone with knowledge to contribute.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Things to Do in Raglan: One of the most common queries from visitors is regarding activities and attractions in Raglan. It is easier to assist when the weather is fine – not so easy in wet weather.
- Walking and Bike Trails: Many of our active and leisure-seeking visitors are keen to explore Raglan’s walking and bike trails. We happily provide maps, guides, and recommendations.
- Swimming Spots: Visitors often approach us inquiring about the bests swimming spots in Raglan. Experienced surfers are well-acquainted with the famous left break, so we assist others with the finding the safest and best places to take a dip.
- Where is the best coffee? For coffee enthusiasts, we gladly point out the best coffee spots in Raglan. With all the great providers, we’ve got you covered.
- Navigating the Bus System: Visitors frequently seek information on Raglan’s bus services, including timetables and bus stops. We’re here to help with all the details.
If you would like to meet and help people who have come to this unique village and volunteer with us, contact one of our team, we are open 7 days a week 10am – 3pm.