Northland: Birthplace of New Zealand

From early New Zealand history to ancient Maori sites and the world’s largest Kauri Tree, Northland is known as the 'Birthplace of New Zealand'.

If you’re drawn to learning more about the fascinating stories, history and culture of the New Zealand people, don’t miss visiting Northland.

Discover the country’s first capital and tour the grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi – which made New Zealand a British colony – was signed.

Head to the Hokianga Harbour to learn about early Maori myths and legends before admiring the enduring beauty of 2000-year-old Tane Mahuta, the world’s largest Kauri tree.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

In February of 1840, New Zealand’s most historical document – the Treaty of Waitangi – was signed at Waitangi. More than 500 Maori chiefs gathered together along with the British Crown to agree on the terms by which New Zealand was to become a British colony.

Today, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are home to Maori artefacts, the treaty house itself as well as beautiful gardens and a waterfall. Visitors are able to see a replica of the treaty itself as well as admire one of the largest carved Maori war canoes in New Zealand.

The Lord of the Forest

No trip to Northland is complete without exploring the giant Kauri forests – home to the largest Kauri tree in the world. These forests have nurtured Kauri trees up to 3,000 years old; with huge girths and epic height, you’ll need to crane your head to see the canopy of these beautiful trees.

The largest of them all, named Tane Mahuta – or Lord of the Forest – stands at a majestic 51 metres high, with a girth of nearly 14 metres. A highly recommended experience is taking a tour with local Maori guides; a spiritual experience where you’ll learn about the legend of Tane’s parents, the sky father and the earth mother.

New Zealand’s First Capital

Perched on a peninsula in the Bay of Islands, Russell - today a quaint seaside town – was once known as the ‘hellhole of the Pacific’. During the 19th century, this small settlement was a shore leave destination for traders, whalers and sailors.

Russell was New Zealand’s first European settlement, first sea port and first capital. Today, evidence of this tumultuous history is everywhere – historic buildings and churches complete with musket ball holes from the land wars, dot the pretty town. It’s the perfect place to spend a day strolling around the old streets, enjoying lunch by the seaside and soaking in the rich, colourful past.

MoaTrek specialises in creating unforgettable New Zealand vacations, weaving the very best experiences and places the country has to offer into our small group tours. We love the rich history of Northland and the spiritual experience that comes with getting up-close to Tane Mahuta, and we know you will too. We’re kiwi-owned and operated and we’re passionate about the amazing holiday experience our country has to offer. Learn more on our website, or enquire now