Nau Mai Haere Mai - Northland and the Bay of Islands Rolls Out Welcome Mat with Free Waitangi Treaty Grounds admission


Nau Mai Haere Mai - Northland and the Bay of Islands Rolls Out Welcome Mat with Free Waitangi Treaty Grounds admission

To celebrate the reopening of the main SH1 north, Waitangi Treaty Grounds are rolling out the welcome mat with free admission to the grounds in partnership with Northland Inc.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds is throwing open its doors with a free open day on Sunday 30 June, especially for Matariki weekend, followed by free entry for all New Zealanders during the first week of the school holidays (Saturday 6 July – Sunday 14 July).

SH1 over the Brynderwyn Hills officially reopens at 11:59pm on Wednesday 26 June after being closed for upgrades since February this year.

“We thank NZTA for their work and are excited to now be celebrating the reopening and want to encourage New Zealanders to visit our unique part of the motu. There’s never been a better time to visit Taitokerau Northland and we are thrilled to be partnering with the iconic Waitangi Treaty Grounds to encourage Kiwis to head north this long weekend or during the school holiday break,” Tania Burt, Head of Destination & Communications for Northland Inc, says.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds Chief Executive Ben Dalton said, “It’s been tough having the main road to the region closed for so long. It’s affected our visitation numbers and disrupted our industry and region still recovering from events such as Covid lockdowns and Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Matariki is a perfect time to visit the birthplace of our nation as it holds significant cultural and spiritual importance to Māori, and to all New Zealanders.  It offers an opportunity for reflection, celebration and connection – I couldn’t think of a better time or place to be than the Treaty Grounds.”

All New Zealanders will get free admission during the promotional period, with ID. Admission incudes access to two museums, the historic site and buildings, a Māori cultural experience and guided tour.

For more information on where to go and where to stay, play and dine in the Bay of Islands and Northland, check out Northland Inc’s website.

Northland, along with a number of other North Island regions, has been seriously financially impacted in the past 18 months because of road closures. An independent report commissioned by Northland Inc in 2023 highlighted the impact of the initial 58-day closure of State Highway 1 over the Brynderwyn Hills following Cyclone Gabrielle as costing the region’s economy at least $112.8 million, or $1.94 million per day.

Originally intended to be closed for repairs from late February to May, new slips on SH1 through the Brynderwyns meant the road was closed an additional six weeks.  While travellers had alternate scenic routes north, the Brynderwyn highway is an important direct route to the region and its destinations for business and leisure travel.

Ms Burt added: “The cost of closure has been very tough on many businesses, but we are optimistic that Northland and the Bay of Islands has not been forgotten by the rest of the country. We now want to encourage everyone – families looking for time away together, those who have never been, and those who have been away too long – to plan that trip and reconnect with Taitokerau Northland. All roads heading North are open and we are ready to welcome you.”

How can we help you?