Legendary Māori Experiences
Over 1000 years ago, the great Polynesian explorer Kupe landed on the shores of Taitokerau Northland and named this place Aotearoa. His discovery triggered a great migration and today, many iwi trace their heritage back to Kupe and those who followed him. Taitokerau Northland is rich in Māori culture, from the language to the legends, the kai (food) to traditional performances, and most importantly, the sacred and significant places. Māori culture is more than just seen and heard; in Taitokerau Northland it is lived.
Many years later, the arrival of Europeans began, initially on voyages of exploration, followed by traders, whalers, and sealers. Taitokerau Northland is home to many of the first European settlements, and most importantly, home to the location of the signing of Aotearoa New Zealand’s founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) which brought together Māori and Pākehā (people of European descent). There are many heritage sites, historic buildings, and relics of the shared history of these two peoples to discover.
Just as the rich and fertile land influenced the settlement of Taitokerau Northland, the natural beauty also inspires the creativity of its residents. Vibrant art communities are found all over the region and galleries and studios are plentiful. Rāwene and Kohukohu are a hotspot for gallery hopping and the Hātea Art Precinct in Whangārei is the latest addition to the regional art offering, where the iconic Hundertwasser Art Centre building takes centre stage.