Tohu Whenua - Landmarks that tell our stories

Things to do

Tohu Whenua is a network of some of our country’s best authentic heritage experiences. Immerse yourself in stories as you explore Te Tai Tokerau’s nine Tohu Whenua - pā sites, battlefields, treaty grounds, mission stations and a historic lighthouse.

Te Tai Tokerau Northland’s network of nine Tohu Whenua (which means ‘landmarks’ in Te Reo Māori) tell the stories of our nation’s beginnings - places where our Māori and European ancestors arrived, centuries apart, and where their identities were defined. Located in stunning landscapes, jam-packed with stories and hands-on activities, Northland’s Tohu Whenua have something for everyone. 

Ruapekapeka Pā, Towai - Explore Aotearoa’s best preserved battlefield, where Māori chiefs and their outnumbered warriors made a final stand in the last battle of the Northern War. 

Pompallier Mission & Printery, Russell - Learn about 19th century printing and bookbinding at Aotearoa’s only surviving pioneer printery and tannery, where missionaries introduced Catholicism through books in Te Reo Māori.

Rangihoua Heritage Park, Oihi - Discover the place where Māori and Europeans first learned to live side by side. The Marsden Cross memorial marks our country’s first Christmas Day service held in 1814.

Kororipo Heritage Park, Kerikeri - This is where most important early meetings between Māori and Europeans took place. Visit our oldest European buildings (Stone Store and Kemp House), explore Kororipo Pā and experience pre-European life at Te Ahurea. 

Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Waitangi - Stand at the spot where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was first signed by Māori chiefs and British Crown on 6 February 1840. Included are a one-hour guided tour, two contemporary museums, carving demonstrations and a kapa haka performance.

Te Waimate Mission, Waimate North - Explore Aotearoa’s first European farm, including the remaining mission house and heritage gardens. This model farming village was intended to teach British farming practices to Māori.

Māngungu Mission, Horeke - Located on a hill with stunning views over Hokianga Harbour, Māngungu Mission marks the site of our largest signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Clendon House, Rāwene - A colonial home built in the 1860s, Clendon House tells the story of Captain James Reddy Clendon and his wife Jane Takotowi Clendon, both remarkable people for very different reasons.

Rākaumangamanga - Cape Brett - It was here that the first seven waka travelling from Hawaiiki found land guided by the light reflecting off the cape’s crystalline rocks. In 1906 the cape became the site of an iconic lighthouse. Access is via a hiking track or by water taxi/boat.

How to Find Us