North Island

North Island

The North Island is home to over 75% of the country’s inhabitants, and has 12 main urban areas: Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Hastings, Whanganui, Palmerston North, and Wellington, the capital.

There’s a lot to see in the North Island, whether you want to hike an active volcano like Mt Ruapehu, or sunbathe on a deserted sandy beach. Rotorua is the place to be when it comes to bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as fascinating Maori culture.

New Zealand capital, Wellington, is a compact city, encompassing a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills.

The island is also known as Te Ika-a-Māui which means "Māui's Fish". According to Māori mythology, the North and South Islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demigod Māui. Māui and his brothers were fishing from their canoe (the South Island) when he caught a great fish and pulled it from the sea.