Northland is New Zealand's northernmost region and the first one to be settled by Polynesians and Europeans. Northland and especially the Bay of Islands is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, offering an abundance of ancient forests, historical sites and world class beaches - there are over 100 beaches in Whangarei District alone.
Northland is also home to giant sand dunes and Kauri trees, an exciting wildlife, huge areas of green and productive farmland and fruit orchards, on the West coast one beach alone is 110 kilometre long, all set between big city Auckland and the magic of Cape Reinga.
The beautiful landscape and coastline is the result of a very interesting combination of extinct volcanoes, raised sea floor with limestone formations and ancient Gondwana rock.
Northland has the highest average annual temperature in New Zealand, but it is never extreme. In summer, day temperatures range between 22°C and 26°C while in winter night-time minimums may drop to around 7°C. Light frosts are possible in sheltered areas but are not common and snow is unheard of in low regions.
Annual sunshine hours average about 2,000 in the region, often rain showers mixed with sunshine. Annual rainfall is around 1,500 - 2,000 mm, but approximately one-third of that falls in the winter months of June, July and August.
With a land area of 13,789 km² it is just a bit smaller than Connecticut but bigger than any county in the UK.
The Northland District Health Board headquarters and main hospital are located in the city of Whangarei, with smaller hospitals in the Bay of Islands, Kaitaia and Dargaville.