As the site of a significant event in the country’s history, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the northern village of Waitangi is an unassuming cornerstone of modern New Zealand society. Visitors can learn about Aotearoa’s social and political past while exploring the Treaty Grounds and surrounding forest and beaches. The Basics
Since the Waitangi Treaty signing, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds—overlooking beautiful Te Ti Bay—have hosted the nation’s annual Waitangi Day commemorations. Explore the Treaty Grounds’ museums and cultural artifacts (including the colonial Treaty House, which houses a replica of the original treaty, and an impressive war canoe) and see the meeting house that receives politicians and Maori leaders every February. Also experience traditional dance (haka
) performances and feast on Maori cooking at an evening hangi.
Visit Waitangi as part of a day trip from Auckland or a multi-day excursion that combines other Bay of Islands and North Island destinations, such as Rotorua, Waitomo Caves, and Puketi Kauri Forest.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Waitangi is a must for those interested in New Zealand and Maori history and culture.
- Get some lunch at the on-site Whare Waka Café.
- If staying overnight, the Bay of Islands’ Copthorne Hotel and Resort is a short walk from the grounds.
- The Treaty Grounds are fully accessible to wheelchair users.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are a short walk north of Paihia, up Te Karuwha Parade and over the bridge. If driving from farther south in Auckland, leave mid-morning and arrive in time for lunch—just follow State Highway 1 north to Kawakawa and follow the signs to Paihia.
When to Get There
Most Waitangi Treaty Grounds tours and events, including the evening hangi and performance, are offered only during summer and fall months, so it’s best to visit around that time; check online for event schedules. Time your visit for early February to see the grounds at their busiest and most political.Get Out on the Water
During the summer and fall months, you can take kayak and canoe (waka
) tours around the coast and down the Waitangi River. There are also stunning beaches for strolling, and forest walks starting in Waitangi take you to nearby Haruru Falls.