Northland Heritage Sites
The Bay of Islands in Northland is known not only for its beauty and climate, but also as one of New Zealand’s most significant historic areas, having supported one of the country’s largest Maori populations. The area was the scene of early contact and conflict between the Maori people and European settlers, who began arriving in the late eighteenth century.
One of the most important historical events to occur was in 1840, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by the Maori and European people. Copies of this document can be viewed at Waitangi today.
The history of the Northland region gives character to its landscape. Quaint white churches, grand old homesteads, tiny wooden cottages, pa sites carved into mountain tops and peninsula headlands are all poignant reminders of a fascinating past.
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust properties in this area include some of New Zealand’s earliest surviving European buildings. Get your Passport to History from our properties (listed below), allowing you to visit five properties for the price of two, and go on your own voyage of discovery!
One of New Zealand’s earliest traders and shipowners, Captain James Reddy Clendon, and his descendants lived in this Rawene home in Northland for over 100 years.
The Kerikeri Mission Station is home to New Zealand’s oldest standing European buildings - Kemp House and the Stone Store. Sole survivor of the Musket Wars of the 1820s, Kemp House is New Zealand’s oldest standing wooden European building.
The Stone Store, New Zealand’s oldest standing European stone building, was built in 1832-36. Designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs and built by an ex-convict stonemason from New South Wales to house mission supplies, it later became a trading post and general store.
This Wesleyan mission house was host to the largest gathering to discuss and sign the Treaty of Waitangi on 12 February 1840. Join the Twin Coast Cycle Trail here.
Pompallier Mission is a uniquely French Provincial building that stands as witness to wider French influences in New Zealand and the Pacific.
Te Waimate Mission House, built in 1832, is the only survivor of three mission houses founded in 1830 on behalf of the Church Missionary Society by the Reverend Samuel Marsden with the agreement of local Nga Puhi.
Edmonds Ruins are the remains of a stone cottage and out-buildings built by John Edmonds and his family, who came to New Zealand in 1834 to work for the Church Missionary Society.
North Kaipara lighthouse was built to guide ships crossing the bar at the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour.
"Don't miss" checklist for Northland
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
R Tucker Thompson cruise
Find out more about things to see and do in Northland by visiting the one of the the tourism websites - Destination Northland or Tai Tokerau Tourism for a New Zealand culture and Maori travel guide extending down to Auckland.