The harbour runs about 12km inland from the entrance and for the most part less than 2km wide. The town is on the southern side of the harbour entrance, 48km west of Hamilton.
It was named after Fitzroy Somerset, 1st Lord Raglan who was the commander of British forces in the Crimean War when the township was first settled in the 1855.
Eight kilometres from the Raglan township is Manu Bay, which features what is claimed to be longest, most accessible and consistent left-hand surf break in the world. On a good day a surfer can ride the wave for a distance of two kilometres. Manu Bay was featured in the movie Endless Summer.