Northland has a rich history as the first area settled by a large Maori population and the focus of early European exploration and settlement. There is an extensive range of traditional and archaeological sites, historic buildings and structures.
Traditional sites are important because of their historical, cultural and spiritual association with Maori. This includes everyday sites such as pa sites and traditional food gathering areas and waahi tapu (sacred sites) such as urupa (burial grounds), sites where blood has been spilt or tauranga waka (sites where ancestral canoes landed).
More information on traditional sites is available in the tangata whenua chapter of this report.
Archaeological sites relate to the more recent European occupation during the timber milling and gum digging eras and include camps, dams and coastal shipwrecks. The heritage of Northland is also reflected in the early colonial buildings and structures such as the missionary houses at Waimate, Kerikeri and Russell and the Waitangi Treaty House and National Reserve.