Whangarei / Whangārei
The city of Whangarei is 160-kilometres north of Auckland. It is the largest urban centre in the Northland region and is the principal commercial centre. It is the hub for most of the transportation and storage services into and out of Northland.
The very indented Northland coastline is over 200-kilometres in length and at its greatest width, the distance east to west is about 60-kilometres. No matter where you go in Northland, you are never more than 40-kilometres from the coast.
Northland is regarded as the first region of New Zealand. Today, many Māori tribes trace their ancestry back to the legendary explorer Kupe who, with his crew, voyaged deep into the Southern Ocean.
Northland tribes claim the first landfall of Kupe's canoe, 'Matawhourua', was on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour. And so it is believed that Northland gave birth to what is today New Zealand. Some of the oldest traces of Māori settlement can be found in the region.
In the late eighteenth century the Europeans arrived. They came on voyages of exploration followed by traders, whalers and sealers. Kauri gum and kauri logging were some of the initial draw cards for migration. Missionaries headed the next wave of arrivals.
In 1832, James Busby was appointed as British Resident of New Zealand. It was the first formal step to forming a permanent constitutional relationship with Britain. In February 1840, Busby hosted the formal signing ceremony of the Treaty of Waitangi on his front lawn.
Throughout the nineteenth century an influx of immigration continued into the region. Colonists from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland arrived to mill the forests and establish farms. Today, the evidence of Northland as the 'Birthplace of a Nation' is everywhere.
Northland's economy is based on agriculture, tourism, forestry and wood processing, horticulture, construction and marine engineering. Emerging industries include the creative sector, mining and aquaculture. Northland is also home to New Zealand's only oil refinery and northern-most and deepest multi-purpose port.
The Northland region is home to around 154,700 residents. The largest urban area in the region is the Whangarei district with a population of 78,200. The balance of the district's 76,500 people live in a number of small communities in the Far North and Kaipara districts, mainly on the coast and rural properties. About three quarters of the population are of European descent, with most of the balance being Māori and in recent times a growing number from other cultures.
Whangarei basks in New Zealand's sub-tropical climate zone, with warm humid summers and mild winters. The region enjoys about 2,000 hours of sunshine every year and typical summer maximum air temperatures range from 22 to 26˚C. Winter temperatures range from 12 to 17˚C. The average annual rainfall is 1,500mm with lower coastal areas receiving about 900mm and some of the higher hill country getting over 2,000mm.
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
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