The North Island is a great place to explore the Maori culture and New Zealand’s history. The go-to place for history is, of course, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and you’d do well not to miss it.
Waitangi National Reserve is right next to Paihia in beautiful Northland and is one of New Zealand’s most important historic places.
The visitor centre is fantastic, offering all kinds of performances and cultural shows visitors can attend. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are vast and well groomed and home to a gigantic waka (canoe), the Treaty House and a marae (Maori meeting house) with the most elaborate wood carvings.
Here, have a look for yourself:
Well, I hope I pronounced Ngatokimatawhaorua, New Zealand’s most important waka, correctly!
So, before you head up north to go sand dune surfing, why not stop in Paihia and Waitangi and learn a little about the world’s youngest country and the fascinating history of Aotearoa!