This month the Local Rag heard from Raglan Rock about their services and we also got their recommendations for local activities.
How long has Raglan Rock been established? How did it start and what was the focus early on?
Raglan Rock started in 2012 with Gareth (the owner) and his rucksack. Initially starting out as a man looking for adventures, Raglan Rock quickly became a dream for Gareth, as he realised how many opportunities there were to show people just how much Raglan has to offer. We’ve now become a company that offers several adventure tourism experiences; Canyoning, Climbing and Caving, to outdoor education credits and school camps.
How has Raglan Rock developed?
Over the years, we have become a well-established name in the outdoor industry and see people from all over the globe come on our tours. Alongside this, we’ve really been enjoying seeing development in the outdoor education facet of the business; taking OED students out on adventures and even helping students achieve their Unit Standard Credits.
Another major development for us this past year has been setting up our new shop and office. This has provided us the opportunity to give an even better experience to our guests and also to stock and sell several outdoor adventure clothing brands; from North Face, RAB and Aromaunga to our own Raglan Rock products.
Why did you decide to include bike hire?
With a lot of our current staff being avid riders themselves it seemed like a natural progression. Raglan has so many wonderful cycling paths and mountain bike trails that not many people or visitors know about. So, offering mountain bike hire seemed like the perfect way to introduce people to the idea of biking in Raglan and provide them with the opportunity to explore the awesome trails we have here.
What does Raglan have to offer in terms of bike tracks and trails? Where is the best info on this?
The foot and cycle path from the town to Ngarunui beach, which runs right past our office, has just been completed. This is a fantastic opportunity for families to get out on their bikes and explore Raglan in a much safer capacity. The Wainui bush park is another beautiful location for a cycle; with winding paths through the bush and plenty of places to stop for a picnic, it’s another great cycling option.
On top of all this, we also have some fantastic Mountain Bike Trails (Te Ara Kākāriki Trails) at the end of Riria Kereopa Memorial Drive, which the Raglan Mountain Biking Club has dedicated a significant amount of time in developing. You can get to the trails from our Shop and Office or alternatively you can go on a wonderful journey through the bush reserve and along the top of the beach to enter the trails from the top. Just pop into our Office for directions and/or a map of all the different routes and runs (our favourite is called ‘Rope a Dope.’)
What do you consider the strengths of Raglan Rock?
We’re a fully audited company, which employs some of the most highly trained and qualified outdoor guides in the country. This is obviously a huge strength of ours, allowing us to provide an amazing and safe experience for all our guests. However, I think our real strength is being able to convey our passion for the outdoors with others, and in turn, help build their passion for adventure.
Alongside this we’re extremely eco-focused; we work alongside the Karioi project to set up trap lines at some of our activity sites and have even had an ecological DNA test done in our canyon to help towards the conservation of our waterways.
What can we expect from your crew in 2022?
2022 is looking to be an exciting year for us, so watch this space! We’ve got some amazing potential new adventures planned, giving our guests even more options of how to explore beautiful Whaingaroa!
We’ve also started our first Women’s only climbing day (hopefully the first of many.) This will be held on 26th February 9.30am-3pm. In a predominantly male dominated industry, Raglan Rock is proud to have a higher ratio of female to male guides and it is something close to our teams’ heart to be able to provide the platform and opportunities for women to feel comfortable to enter the outdoor adventure sphere.
Further to this, since the Olympics, climbing as a sport has become much more mainstream and we’ve noticed a positive increase in our Sport and Trad climbing courses. We hope that this is something that continues on into 2022.
And finally, we’re stoked to be getting a brand-new range of North Face clothing coming to the shop in March. It would be wonderful to see the shop become fully established this year and see people coming to shop our brands, as well as join in on our adventures.