Skip to Main Content
An underwater scene from Port the Ribbon

The Far North Region

New Zealand’s far north, called Northland, is so remote and untouched that it feels like it’s the end of the world. And, in fact, it almost is: The Maori—who occupied Northland for hundreds of years before Abel Tasman, the Dutch explorer, sailed there in 1683—believe Cape Reinga to be the gateway to their afterworld. Northland also happens to be New Zealand’s only subtropical zone, and the region where the Treaty of Waitangi, which gave New Zealand proper British-colony status, was signed in 1840.

If you’re one of the few lucky travelers to make it north of Auckland and Coromandel to sail around Northland, you’ll be blessed with some incredibly picturesque and interesting sights: Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, a pending UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s bliss for divers; the breathtaking Cape Brett Peninsula, which juts out into the Pacific Ocean; the Bay of Islands, an area of inland towns and over 140 islands; Cape Reinga, at the very tip of the country; and just south of Cape Reinga on Northland's western coast, the famous Ninety Mile Beach which, though spectacular, is only 88 kilometers (55 miles) long.