The North Island is home to the country’s largest city Auckland and the Capital City of Wellington. Located between the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, the coastal city of Auckland is aptly known as the ‘City of Sails’. This colourful, multicultural hub is greatly influenced by European, Maori and Asian cultures. A boat trip to one of the many islands off the coast of Auckland, such as Rangitoto or Waiheke Island, is an exhilarating way to take in the beauty of the coastline.
Alternatively, visitors may find a quick trip to the top of Sky Tower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, just as effective for taking in the spectacular views.
The Capital City of Wellington is the home of the New Zealand Parliament, and is also the renowned national capital for the arts, creativity and events. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the NBR New Zealand Opera and the Royal New Zealand Ballet are just some of the internationally recognised institutions in Wellington generating professional artists who have gone onto worldwide acclaim.
One must-do on the North Island is a visit to Rotorua, an area of extreme geothermal activity and rich in Maori cultural history. Bizarre natural wonders caused by the geography include geysers, hot springs, craters and bubbling hot mud-pools. Rotorua City on the Southern shore of Lake Rotorua is an important centre for Maori cultural heritage.
Visitors to Rotorua can take in the unique language, music, dress, dancing and artisan skills of the Maori people in the traditional villages of Whakarewarewa, Tamaki Maori Village and the Mitai Moari Village. These special places ensure that the cultural and spiritual history of New Zealand is respected and preserved for future generations.
New Zealand – North Island
Known to the natives as Te Ika a Maui, the North Island is separated from the South Island by the Cook Straight which is over 20 kilometres wide at is narrowest point. New Zealand is crowned with some of the most liveable cities on earth including Auckland and Wellington which are situated in the North Island.
Auckland is the beautiful harbourside city of the North Island providing urbanised culture for tourists and locals. As the largest city on the Island the urban area of the city lies on top of the dormant Auckland Volcanic field.
The North Island is also home to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Despite its small size, Wellington supports a large arts, culture and nightlife scene much larger than many cities of its size. Looking south from the city you can spot the snow-capped Kaikoura Ranges and to the north you can see the Kapiti Coast. To the east the Rimutaka Ranges offer incredible and national acclaimed wine regions and to the east beautiful plains and harbours.
Wellington and the surrounding cities have become home to many national festivals over the years including the Wellington Jazz Festival, New Zealand International Arts Festival, numerous film festivals and music festivals.
Not falling short in sport, New Zealand’s North Island is home to a huge love of Rugby, and also boasts champion netball and basketball teams Central Pulse and Wellington Saints.
The North Island is only half of what New Zealand has to offer but the northern half packs a punch when it comes to offering culture, geographical beauty and incredible national parks filled with incredible fauna and flora.
There are nine local government regions that cover the North Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters
Major Cities of South Island;
- Bay of Plenty
- Manawatu Wanganui
- Hawkes Bay
land – located far north of New Zealand with town of Wellsford, bounded to the west by Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean to the east, the land is mainly rolling hill country where farming and forestry occupy over half of the land and are two of the regions main industries. With Ninety Mile beach in the regions of far north, Kaipara Harbour to the south, famous Bay of Islands is popular for fishing sailing and tourist destinations in the country known by internationally renowned big game fishing which include the Mission House and many other tourist attraction such as Mount Maunganui, Tongariro National Park and the beautiful Ninety Mile Beach.
Auckland – Is New Zealand’s largest city and most populous region of New Zealand and having the most economical growth. Starting from mouth of Kaipara Harbour down to the North Auckland Peninsular, some of the popular natural attractions include the Waitakere Ranges, Isthmus of Auckland, Hunua Ranges, Waikato river. Auckland has 49 volcanoes of varying age with the oldest being 150,000 years old where much of the urban areas lie on top. Waitemata Harbour is the main access by sea to Auckland or New Zealand which connects the city’s main port and the Auckland waterfront to the Hauraki Gulf and the Pacific Ocean where commuter ferries cross Auckland and Wellington harbours with many scenic cruises being popular in many places.
Auckland CBD is also notable for having the highest concentration of arts, culture and higher education institutions and venues in the country with the skyscrapers such as the Vero Centre or the Meropolis with Sky Tower rising above them and where the economy is dominated by Port of Auckland, businesses and financial support services with Auckland waterfront Karangahape Road that is famous for its nightlife, boutiques, cafes, and red light district, Queen Street is major commercial area of Auckland CBD and is the main retail precinct of the central city, with Waitemata Harbour being the main access by sea to Auckland and it connects the city’s main port to the Hauraki gulf and Pacific Ocean.
Bay of Plenty – Situated around the body of water, which was named by James Cook. The major Cite centres are Tauranga which is mainly known for international trade, culture, fashion, business, horticultural science, entertainment and education which makes it home for renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields being most substantial economic places in New Zealand. Being popular lifestyle city where many cafes, vineyards and wineries, businesses are locate with wide variety of fresh produce such as grapefruit, avocados, kiwifruit being the few.
Port of Tauranga is New Zealands largest export port with costal suburbs like Papamoa and Mount Maunganui, it has many beautiful beaches and attractions with many outlying islands and reefs that make it a notable tourist destination point for travellers.
Rotorua being major destination for both domestic and international tourists, such as Lake Rotorua being aquatic paradise with water activities like water skiing and swimming.
Whakatane is a town located in the Bay of Plenty region it has lots of industries such as forestry, fishing, horticulture, manufacturing and tourism where most popular tourist attraction is New Zealand’s most active volcano with is located 48 kilometres north of Whakatane and many more attractions such as swimming with dolphins, cruises, surf tours, whale watching, amateur astronomy, hunting, aviation and bushwalking.
Gisborne – Located on the east coast at the northern end of Poverty Bay being sparsely inhabited and isolated region with inland land being predominantly forested hill country with Te Urewera National Park and Kaingaroa Forest and the most popular attraction which also is the fifth highest mountain in North Island that is not a volcano Mount Hikurngi.
Waikato – Is located on the western and north eastern sides of the North Island that stretches from Lake Taupo and northern King Country in the south and north to the Coromeandel Peninsula.
Hamilton is New Zealand’s innovation and agricultural city where education and research are important to the city, there are many well established businesses such as the Ruakura centre which is the largest aircraft manufacture to the Pacific Aerospace and Max Clear Aviation who manufactures and exports high quality micro light aircrafts, and where CTC Aviation is the training centre for airline pilots. Hamilton Gardens is most popular tourist attraction where Gardens Summer Festival happens each year, other main attraction include Waikato Museum, Society Observation, Sky City Casino, Hamilton Zoo and many art gallery’s
Taranaki – Is named after regions main geographical feature Mount Taranaki with the main centre of the Taranaki region, situated on the west coast of the North Island surrounding the volcanic peak.
New Plymouth - Has been voted the Top City in New Zealand with service centre for regions principal economic activities including intensive pastoral activities such as dairy farming, oil, natural gas, petrochemical exploration and production, with many popular tourists attractions such as skiing, botanic gardens such as the Pukekura Park, 7 kilometre coastal walkway, with many festivals such as the annual TSB Bank Festival of lights, the garden festival, art festival and many more.
Manawatu-Wanganui – Is situated in the lower half of the North Island of New Zealand around the city of Plmerston North and the town of Wanaganui, being dominated and defined by two significant river catchments the Whanganui and Manawatu. The economy is dominated by agriculture, fishing, forestry and education sector which provides NZ$1 billion a year to the local economy, with Palmerston North being the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand and being marketed as Student City witch has youthful attitude and being home to more then 70 major educational and research institutions.
Hawkes Bay – Recognised to the world for its award winning wines with the regional council sits in both cities of Napier and Hastings, situated on teh east coast of the North Island bearing the former name of what is now Hawke Bay that is a large semi circular bay which extends for 100 km.
Napier - being a port city in Hawke’s Bay is less than twenty kilometres from Hastings City and are often called the twin cities with the major tourist attraction being the town itself witch draws Art Deco and architecture enthusiasts from around the world, with the range of industries in Napier, the economy is driven by electronic industry, wool trade, manufacture of fertilizer and the wine which is one of the most popular tourist attractions.
Hastings – is situated on the fertile alluvial Heretaunga Plains Hastings District features varied natural landmarks with range from Havelock Hills to the sand beaches in the Hastings Napier area notably Ocean Beach, Waipatiki and Waimarama, with the local area being productive with orchards, vineyards and farms and the largest apple, stone fruit and pair producing areas in New Zealand with historical land marks and tourist attractions.
Wellington – Capital
Situated at the south western tip of the North Island between the Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. Its New Zealand’s political centre with head offices of all government departments and arts scene, café culture and nightlife that’s much larger than most cities of a similar size, with important centre of New Zealand film and theatre industry where the Te Papa Tongarewa the museum of New Zealand is located and is broadly translatable as ‘the place of treasures of this land’ situated on the waterfront in Wellington on Cable Street with six storeys of exhibits, cafes gift shops which are dedicated to New Zealand’s culture and environment. The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Museum of Wellington City & Sea, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand International Arts Festival are all situated there with architectural styles from nineteenth century wooden cottages, such as the Italianate Katherine Mansfield Birthplace in Thorndon.
Considered by many as the centre of the nation’s film industry with Auckland being the leader, it has numerous schools for college preparation and study, to get more information please see list of schools in Welling, New Zealand for more info.