Photo: Jwan Milek
Whale Bay is a coastal community nestled between Mount Karioi and the ocean, about 8km south of Raglan. Much of the area around Whale Bay is covered with native tree forest up to the summit of Mount Karioi. The famous and dramatic gravel surfaced Waanga Coast Road starts at Whale Bay and heads south to Ruapuke between Mount Karioi and the Tasman Sea. The surf at Whale Bay is world renowned.
Things to do in Whale Bay
Great surf most of the year attracts surfers from around the world to Whale Bay. With an excellent left point break, Whale Bay has surf which works well on all tides. Access to the surf is off an exposed rock shelf or out to the The Valley further west. It involves some serious paddling to the line up and is not for grommets.
South west along from Whale Bay is a left-hand point break called Indicators, which includes The Valley as its inner section. Producing large waves, this area is very exposed.
Be aware of the risks with rocks in the sea and the exposed nature of the rocky beach. Strong south westerly winds can build up at any time.
Visit the Miranda Jane Caird Artist Studio
25a Calvert Rd, Whale Bay, Raglan
Postal: PO Box 216, Raglan 3265
Phone 07 825 0367, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
For beauty, massage and pampering head to Moana Day Spa at Waoku Lodge
51A Waanga Road, Whale Bay
RD3 Raglan 3297
Phone 07 825 7072
Learn to surf
Raglan Surfing School at 5b Whaanga Rd, Whale Bay provides surfing lessons for groups or individuals. Beginner lessons available. Phone 07 825 7873. Email email@example.com
Whale Bay Reserve
At the northern end of Calvert Road on the coast side is the Whale Bay Reserve. This small reserve has picnic tables and children’s swings. The view from the reserve is of the ocean to the north and the Te Akau coast. The only public toilets in Whale Bay are located in the reserve. For a very short walking tour of Whale Bay, walk down through the reserve, go south along the foreshore and then up the steps to Tohoara Close and up to rejoin Calvert Road.
A few kilometres south of Whale Bay on the Whaanga Road is the Te Toto Gorge reserve. Here you can tramp down into the gorge. Karioi is one of the few places left in the Waikato where there is an intact sequence of forest from mountain top to coast. The land around Te Toto Gorge was bought in 1998 to ensure that the coastal portion of this forest sequence could be protected and enhanced.
There are no public toilets at Te Toto Gorge, so make you stop at the Whale Bay toilets.
At present the track is not fully formed but it is marked from the Te Toto Gorge carpark to the bottom of the Gorge. It is a steep descent to start with before you come out onto the flatter land close to the coast. This
area was once used extensively by Maori and the remnants of stone walls can still be seen in places. You will see many karaka trees which were most likely planted by resident Maori in times past. There is no track through the open grassy areas but
you can wander freely and explore this remote piece of coast before heading back up to the carpark.
Carpark to coast: 30 minutes.
In much the same area of Whaanga Road, the track to the Karioi summit begins. This track is the closest to Raglan and is the steeper but more interesting of the two options. Once over the stile at the start of the track it’s all uphill but there are plenty of good vantage points where you can stop and admire the view. After walking through an open grove of kanuka you walk up a grassy slope before gaining the main ridge. Chains and ladders have been installed to help you negotiate the occasional rocky outcrop. At the large rocky bluff the track sidles around to the
north for a short distance then climbs steeply back to the ridge. From there it is a 10-minute walk along to the lookout, signposted down a short side track. From the junction it is an hour to the summit along an undulating ridge. The vegetation along this ridge has been beautifully sculptured by the strong prevailing westerly winds. Click here for DOC’s walk brochure: Karioi Summit Tracks and Te Toto Lower Gorge Track.
Getting to Whale Bay
From Raglan drive down Wainui Road, keep going across the one way bridge, continue on Wainui Road passing Poihakena Marea on the right, Kereopa Drive on the right, Wainui Reserve on the right, Upper Wainui Road on the left, though the patch of native bush, passing Camp Raglan on the right, then on through Manu Bay passing the Manu Bay beach reserve on the right, then continue around the coast on Wainui Road until you reach a roundabout. Calvert Road is straight ahead while Whaanga Road goes off to the left. Limited car parking is available in Calvert Road. You get to the Whale Beach beach from Calvert Road walking into Tohoara Close then down the walkway and stairs from Tohoara Close.
Public Bus Service
There is no public bus service to Whale Bay.
Whale Bay Satellite View
51A Whaanga Road, Whale Bay, Raglan
The only Qualmark five-star rated accommodation in Raglan, Waoku Lodge is set in fourteen acres of native bush, nestling at the base of Mount Karioi with magnificent views overlooking the Tasman Sea at Whale Bay.
Waoku Lodge offers three self-contained, luxury apartments. Peace and tranquility surround this unique venue. Guests will enjoy an uncrowded and unhurried base from which to enjoy the rich simplicity, relaxation and recreation of this unspoilt and undiscovered part of “old” New Zealand!
Luxurious accommodation, a fine dining option, fine NZ wines, mini bar, Sky TV including film and sports channels, DVD player, Bose sound system, fully fitted kitchen. Moana Day spa is on-site offering beauty and massage therapies; other activities available include surfing, horse-riding, harbour cruises, wind-surfing, kayaking, golf course nearby, walking or tramping through bush, mountain or beach. Or just take the relaxation option, enjoy the views and sample the mini-bar or Fine wine list.
- Indicators Beach House – Self contained fully furnished accommodation with north facing views of the surf and ocean. Phone 07 825 0949 Mobile 021 233 7398
- Oceanhouse – Fully self contained beachfront holiday home. Phone 03 442 8696
- Sleeping Lady Lodgings – Several different accommodation options, from backpacker rooms through to exclusive lodges. Phone 07 825 7873