Raglan Domain (Papahua/ Te Kopua)

Playing in the sand on the beach at Te Kopua

Raglan Domain (Papahua/ Te Kopua) is a popular beach reserve just across the footbridge from the Raglan town area.  The 18 hectare Papahua Block was given by the Maori owners to the Raglan Town Board in 1923, “To be a playground for Raglan people of both races for all time.”

Enjoying the beach at Kopua
Enjoying the beach at Kopua

Officially called the Papahua Reserve, the area is often called the Raglan Domain or Kopua Domain, and today it is still used for the original purpose, mainly by beach goers wanting a safe swim, a picnic at the beach, or a walk along the beach or around the reserve.

There are public toilets and changing rooms just along from the picnic areas.

Also north of the launching ramp is a burial area which includes the grave of prominent local chief  Te Awa-i-taia (Wi Neera)  and a monument erected in his honour.

Waka Ama at Kopua

It also has an all tides boat launching ramp. The local waka ama club stores their waka just north of the launching ramp.

Papahua Footbridge

Steel sculpture or po by Simon Te Wheoro
2011 steel sculpture or po at Te Kopua, by Simon Te Wheoro, which guards the new Papahua Footbridge in the background

The reserve is linked to the town area by a footbridge.  There have been three bridges, the first one built in concrete in 1926.  The foundations were insufficient and salt water and black sand were used for mixing the cement. In 1962 the first bridge was closed as unsafe and removed.  A new narrow one was built in 1963 and in the early 21st century its foundations also became unsafe.  In 2011 the current third bridge was built and the second bridge dismantled.   The bridge can be used by pedestrians and cyclists.  It is also frequently used by children to jump off into the water.

The sidewalls of the bridge are multicoloured inspired by the colours of the paua shell. The bridge and piers are floodlit at night with low energy multi-coloured lights.

Things to do at Kopua Reserve

Skateboard Park

Using the skatepark extension
Using the skatepark extension

The reserve has a skateboard park with a bowl plus an extension with a snake run and a taco.

BMX Track

Near the Skateboard Park there is a BMX Bike Track.

Swimming and Beach Fun

The black sand beach area next to the estuary north and south of the footbridge provides a safe place for swimming, building sand castles, relaxing, having barbeques and picnics.  Groups often put up gazebos for the day on the grassed area next to estuary beach.

Part of kid’s play area


Children’s Play Area

The children’s play area just south of the footbridge has the usual  mix of swings, see saws and adventure toys.


There is a public push button barbecue located between the changing sheds and the beach just north of the footbridge.  There is no charge to use it.

Soccer Fields

Just behind the Kopua Camp Store are the soccer fields, a large grass area that’s useful for any family game over the summer months.

Station on Fitness Trail


Fitness Trail/ Parcourse

Kopua is home to a 13 station fitness trail.


Kopua Domain Camp Store – Jo’s Takeaways

Kopua Camp Store aka Jo’s Takeaways

Takeaway fish & chips, seafoods, burgers, ice creams. Marine Parade, Te Kopua Domain, Raglan
Phone: 825 8761

Te Kopua Camp Store top in 2010 Raglan Website Poll for Fish & Chips


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Walk Across Footbridge from Town Area

Sculpture or po 'Te Toka koropu  pu o Ranginui' by Pakawa Watene
Sculpture or po ‘Te Toka koropu pu o Ranginui’ by Pakawa Watene on town (eastern) side of footbridge

The walk from the Raglan town area to Kopua across the footbridge takes about 5 minutes each way. It is flat and an easy walk starting at the jetty park at the harbour end of Bow St.

Beach Walk

After crossing the footbridge turn north (right)  and walk along the harbour edge around the point on the sandy black ironsand beach.  There are two old concrete pill boxes left from the second world war.  Apart from that it is a pleasant beach walk.  Return back along the beach or take a shortcut on one of the tracks from the beach back through the reserve.


Three Bridges Walk

Walk and cycle map for Te Kopua area – From WEC’s Raglan walking and cycling map

A popular walk with Raglan locals is the walk around the three bridges- the footbridge,  the bridge on Marine Parade by the airfield and the one way bridge on Wainui Road.  After crossing the footbridge turn south (left)  and follow the Opotoru estuary around. Keep turning left until you get onto Wainui Road then follow Wainui Road back to the Raglan town area.

Fishing and Boating

Marine Parade Launching Ramp

Marine Parade Launching Ramp, Kopua, Raglan
Marine Parade Launching Ramp, Kopua, Raglan

Smaller boats can be launched at the large launching ramp in Marine Parade adjacent to the Raglan Motor Camp and Kopua Reserve. This ramp is just a few minutes away from the Raglan town area. Boats launched here must be able to fit beneath the footbridge across the Opotoru Estuary to gain access to Raglan Harbour. There is plenty of parking for cars and trailers next to the launching ramp.

Line Fishing
Recreational fishers line up on the sand along the edge of Raglan Harbour at Putoetoe Point on the entrance to the main part of the harbour.

Fishos on the Point

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