Ruapuke Beach

Waikato & the Coromandel Peninsula

Whale Bay marks the end of the sealed road, but a gravel road continues to the wild spans of Ruapuke Beach, 22km from Raglan. It’s dangerous for swimmers here, but popular with surf-casting fisherfolk. The gravel road continues to Mt Karioi and rejoins the inland road at Te Mata.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Waikato & the Coromandel Peninsula attractions

1. Mt Karioi

3.32 MILES

In legend, Mt Karioi (756m), the Sleeping Lady (check out that profile), is the sister to Mt Pirongia. At its base (8km south of Whale Bay), Te Toto Gorge…

2. Waireinga


Just past Te Mata (a short drive south of the main Raglan–Hamilton road) is the turn-off to the 55m-high Waireinga, 4km from the main road. From the car…

3. Old School Arts Centre

8.98 MILES

A community hub, the Old School Arts Centre has changing exhibitions and workshops, including weaving, carving, yoga and storytelling. Movies screen here…

4. Ocean Beach

11.06 MILES

Four kilometres west of Kāwhia is Ocean Beach and its high, black-sand dunes. Swimming can be dangerous, but one to two hours either side of low tide you…

5. Post Box Gallery

11.25 MILES

This volunteer-run gallery and shop is worth checking out to purchase interesting works and souvenirs from the increasing number of artists and designers…

6. Kawhia Regional Museum & Gallery

11.34 MILES

Kāwhia's modest waterside museum has local history, nautical and Māori art and artefacts, as well as regular art exhibitions. Don't miss the huge fossil…

7. Maketu Marae

11.84 MILES

From Kāwhia Wharf, a track extends along the coast to Maketu Marae, which has an impressively carved meeting house, Auaukiterangi. Two stones here – Hani…

8. Mt Pirongia

18.57 MILES

The main attraction of the 170-sq-km Pirongia Forest Park is Mt Pirongia, its 959m summit clearly visible from much of the Waikato. The mountain is…