The North has had a long, fascinating and at times turbulent past, and Northland's landscapes, historic sites and buildings still reflect this history: the signs of the past remain clear on the face of the land.
Find out about prehistoric Taitokerau, European "discovery" and colonisation, and settlement and industry.
Explore a fortified headland pa with commanding views of the western portion of the Bay of Islands.
Te Whara or Bream Head is a rich archaeological landscape resulting from more than 500 years of Maori occupation.
A guiding light: The headland at Cape Brett has been keeping travellers safe for hundreds of years.
The afterlife is a spiritual concept shared by many cultures. Visit the site of departure for Māori spirits.
Before Flagstaff Hill was used for the flagpole it was occupied by prehistoric Maori. The hill had a turbulent past with the first four erected flagstaffs cut down in protest.
Paroa Pa within the Harata Historic Reserve was designed before the arrival of guns, which radically changed pa design.
Explore an area rich in Maori history with spectacular views of the coastline and Hokianga harbour. At Arai Te Uru Recreational Reserve walk where Kupe first walked when he first landed on Aotearoa.
Kahuwera pa on the Paroa Peninsula is a defended headland pa that features strongly in the historically significant Bay of Islands.
Visit the remnants of Kerikeri hydro station - the first power generation in Kerikeri and part of a well maintained track that runs from the historic Kerikeri Basin through to the stunning Rainbow Falls.
The Meeting Pool: Under the protection of the Rangatira (Chief) Hongi Hika, the Church Mission Society established this enduring settlement.
The 14 archaeological sites on Mahinepua peninsula reflect a variety of activities, such as gardening, pa sites with terraces where huts and other structures were located, pits for storing crops and shell refuse from past meals.
Located on the Mangonui waterfront is a beautiful historic kauri building, the Mangonui Courthouse.
The island has a significant Maori history and offers a range of recreation activities, including a track to a stunning pa site, and an educational underwater trail for snorkelers.
Visit Captain Cook's anchorage and enjoy the thriving native birdlife on pest-free Moturua Island in central Bay of Islands.
Motukawanui Island off the coast of Northland is free from possums, mustelids and cats, and home to a flourishing population of native birds. There are opportunities for snorkelling and swimming and you can stay overnight in a hut.
This important island refuge can only be visited by DOC staff, iwi, and researchers.
The site of Okiato in the Bay of Islands was the home of New Zealand’s first capital from 1840-1841 and an important site in New Zealand’s early formational period.
Okuratope pa is an excellent example of a complete and well-preserved fortified settlement, however public access is difficult.
At the Puhipuhi Mercury Mines, a jumble of WWII-era industrial equipment is hidden amongst the regenerating native vegetation.
New Zealand's first Christmas: Explore the first planned European settlement where Māori and Europeans learned to live side by side.
Rangikapiti Pa provides panoramic views over the Mangonui Harbour. It is a significant site to Ngati Kahu, and the terraces and defensive ditch around the pa make it a distinctive feature on the landscape.
Where dissatisfaction over the Treaty turned to war: The history of Ruapekapeka is entwined with that of the Treaty of Waitangi, a living document which continues to shape New Zealand society.
Tapeka Pa is located on top of a steep coastal headland and has some of the most extensive earthworks in the Bay of Islands. Find out why Tapeka Point is known as 'Lovers Leap'.
Taumarumaru Reserve encompasses three pa sites historically significant to the early Ngati Awa and later the Ngati Kahu people – two pa sites are located on the headland (Ohumuhumu and Otanenui) and one on the central ridge (Taumarumaru).
On Urupukapuka an interpreted archaeological walk winds past pa sites, kainga (villages) and complexes of kumara storage pits.
Discover an impressive pa site in Waikare Inlet.
Discover historic Maori sites on Waewaetorea Island.
Whangamumu Harbour acted as a base for a shore whaling station in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Waitata Point Historic Reserve has a coastal battery that operated between 1943-44. The construction of the two gun emplacements make them unique to New Zealand’s military defence structures.
This pleasant and easy walk takes you around the coastline across a causeway to Motukiore Island, and is a great summer family outing.
Oral history and archaeological evidence shows Mimiwhangata was once inhabited by a substantial Maori community. Major pa sites are spread over the peninsula and it is possible to see the patterns of long gone vegetable gardens on the hills.
Learn more about the history of Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve, which is known for its striking limestone formations, but mining coal was in fact the focus of the Hikurangi community from 1895 until the 1950s.
Find out more about the traditional and early historical significance of Whangaruru.