The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, the other being the South Island.
Many important cities are located in the North Island, notably New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, and Wellington, the capital, located at the southern extremity of the island. Around 76% of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island.
As you travel along the Twin Coast Discovery Highway you will explore semi- tropical Northland, the region which ends where the South Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet. Scenery, fishing, diving, walks, culture and heritage (this is Birthplace of a Nation), golf, food, wine and people.
Maori mythology says that the North and South Islands of New Zealand came from the time of Maui, who was a demigod.
The story goes that he and his brothers were fishing from their canoe (the South Island) when he caught a great fish and pulled it from the sea. While he was not looking his brothers fought over the fish and chopped it up.
This great fish became the North Island and thus the Maori name for the North Island is Te Ika a Maui (The Fish of Maui). The mountains and valleys are said to have been formed as a result of Maui's brothers' hacking at the fish.
Historical Note: On some 19th Century maps, the North Island also went by the name New Munster.
The island is the world's 14th-largest island.
Cities and towns in the North Island (Smaller urban areas are found on the List of towns in New Zealand.)
Auckland, Cambridge, Coromandel, Foxton, Gisborne, Hamilton, Hastings, Huntly, Kerikeri, Matamata, Napier, New Plymouth Pahiatua, Palmerston North, Raglan, Rotorua, Stratford, Taupo, Tauranga and Wellington.