As the main gateway to New Zealand, Auckland is the most accessible of all regions by plane. Car rental is available at the international airport or locations throughout the region, which is also well served by buses and trains.
The first European explorer to discover New Zealand was Abel Tasman in 1642. From the late 18th century, New Zealand was regularly visited by other explorers, sailors, missionaries, traders and adventurers.
The first sailors to settle here were the Maori, and in later years migrants from the Pacific Islands. It was a place desired by many and fought over for its riches, including its forested hills, productive volcanic soils and harbours full of seafood.