New Zealand Travel - King Country

The Eco Wonderland of New Zealand

Naumai haere mai ki King Country, the gateway to eco/cultural, heritage tourism activities, attractions and Maori culture in the heart ofNew Zealand.

King Country is a land where stories, myths and legends abound, it's matched only by landscapes you've never seen before. It's a land of contrasts with each scene a beauty of its own.

From the magical, underground caverns of the Waitomo Caves, to the stunning and historical harbours of Kawhia and Aotea, we invite you off the beaten track to experience Aotearoa like you've never done before.

The King Country is named after the movement of the Maori warrior Chief "King Tawhiao", who with his determined followers, led aresistance ofEuropean's coveting their land.

After failing to stop the invasion, King Tawhiaoandhisfollowers sought refuge in the remoter parts of this region and for a time thereafter, the Pakeha (Europeans) ventured into the Kingcountry and parts of the Waikato region at their own risk.

Although the Kingcountry now has several substantial towns, beyond them a sense of isolation still persists in what is some of the North Island's wildest, stunningly beautiful, and most unspoilt terrain.

For those seeking accommodation, we have a huge database of quality accommodation options with up to 80% off hotels, motels, b&b's, lodges, etc...please checkout our comprehensive last minute accommodation deals directory for not only the Kingcountry and Waikato, but NZ wide.


The King Country, or Rohe Potae, was originally a large tract of the western central North Island and comprised the tribal lands of Ngati Maniapoto Ngati Tama, Ngati Tuwharetoa (the portion lying west and south of Lake Taupo), the Waikato lands which escaped confiscation, and the northern fringes of Ngati Ruanui and Ngati Hau lands.

The district lay principally in the Auckland Province but there were extensive portions in Wellington and Taranaki and, at one point, a contiguous boundary with Hawke's Bay. Its northern boundary was the Puniu Stream, which marked the extent of the Waikato tribal territories confiscated after the Maori Wars.

In Taranaki the confiscation line (north of Waitara) was another boundary. Both of these lines were proclaimed under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863; but, beyond these proclamations, the boundaries could only be guessed.

Europeans called the area “the King Country” because it was here that Tawhiao sought refuge following the Maori Wars. It was terra incognita to the colonial Government and a place of refuge for all who refused to make peace with the Queen.

Maoris knew the district as Rohe Potae (“the edge or brim of the hat”) which name arose according to tribal tradition because Tawhiao threw his hat on a large map of the North Island in order to demonstrate the area he claimed. Within this district the “King” ruled as an independent monarch...More on King Country