Make your way to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands and engage in a variety of educational activities scheduled during operating hours. Expect to spend about 4 hours exploring New Zealand's most historic site; you can use your admission ticket for two consecutive days.
Perhaps start with Waitangi – Birthplace of a Nation, an introductory film about how Aotearoa's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was created between the British Crown and the North Island’s Māori chiefs. Then embark on a 50-minute guided tour, which run every hour on the hour. You'll find a copy of the treaty in the Visitor Centre, see an authentic ceremonial war canoe, and even stand in the spot where the treaty was signed.
Step foot in the Museum of Waitangi Te Kōngahu, opened in 2016. See permanent and changing exhibits, along with an education center on the first floor, and make use of multimedia and visual displays. Significant taonga (treasures) associated with Waitangi were scattered throughout New Zealand and now take their place in the museum.
Don't miss a 30-minute cultural performance outside the meeting house where Te Pitowhenua, a resident performing arts group, welcomes you inside with a traditional Māori welcome (powhiri). Seated in stunning carved surroundings that depict history and genealogy, you'l watch a high-energy show. Poi twirling, Māori weaponry, stick games, heavenly harmonies, and a traditional haka dance will leave you spellbound. After the show there is an opportunity to meet the performers, ask questions, and take photos with them.