Raglan Harbour is situated 15 miles west of Hamilton. It has been formed in the remote past by the drowning of a valley system of which the two major arms, Waingaro to the north-east and Waitetuna to the south-east, meander among mudbanks and cliffs for more than 10 miles. To the south of the entrance rises the extinct volcano, Karioi (2,480 ft). The harbour was originally known as Whaingaroa (long inlet), but has now taken the name of the small town on the southern shore. This town was established in 1854, and four years later was renamed in honour of Lord Raglan, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in the Crimea, at the time of the Charge of the Light Brigade. The population in 1961 was 1,022. The port, which shelters fishing boats and handles some coastal shipping, is small, mainly because the harbour entrance is blocked by a bar. In 1859 the Austrian geologist, Ferdinand von Hochstetter, visited Whaingaroa to study the Tertiary rocks that are so well exposed in the miles of cliffs around the harbour. Many Waikato residents find Raglan Harbour an ideal summer marine resort.
by Leslie Owen Kermode, B.A., Geological Survey Station, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Otahuhu.