Several important cities are 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.
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 Māori 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.
The island is the world's 14th largest island.
A grammatical note: New Zealanders refer to them with a definite article as "the North Island" and "the South Island", like "the North Sea" and "the Western World", but unlike "Rangitoto Island" or "West Point". Maps, and headings or tables, and adjectival expressions use "North Island", whereas "the North Island" is used after a preposition or before or after a verb, e.g. "my mother lives in the North Island", "the North Island is smaller than the South Island", or "I'm visiting the North Island".
Cities and towns in the North Island
(Smaller urban areas are found on the List of towns in New Zealand)
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
- Cape Reinga
- Cook Strait
- Lake Taupo
- Waikato River
- Waipoua Kauri Forest
- Waitomo Caves
|Regions of New Zealand|
|North Island: Northland | Auckland | Waikato | Bay of Plenty | Gisborne* | Hawke's Bay | Taranaki | Manawatu-Wanganui | Wellington|
|South Island: Tasman* | Marlborough* | Nelson* | West Coast | Canterbury | Otago | Southland|