Early introductions

Introducing food plants Early European explorers introduced a wide range of plants. In December 1769, French explorer Captain Jean François Marie de Surville left wheat, peas, and rice in New

Part of story: Kai Pākehā – introduced foods


Caves are an integral part of limestone country. Sometimes they are too narrow for humans to enter, or access is blocked by soil. In the few million years that New Zealand carbonate

Part of story: Limestone country

The Bay of Plenty

Tāneatua Tāneatua was a tohunga on the

Part of story: Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration

William Colenso and the east coast

Into the Urewera Much of the East Coast of the North Island was explored by William Colenso. A Cornish layman, he arrived at the Paihia

Part of story: European exploration


After discovering New Zealand in 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman set sail, never to return.

Part of story: Dutch

The South Island

Rākaihautū and Rokohouia

Part of story: Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration


E rere kau mai te awa nui nei Mai i te kāhui maunga ki Tangaroa Ko au te awa Ko te awa ko au.

Part of story: Whanganui tribes

When was New Zealand first settled?

In 2570 BCE the great pyramid of Giza in Egypt was completed. But the remote islands of New Zealand lay empty of human history. From around 1000 BCE the Lapita people spread into West Polynesia.

Part of story: When was New Zealand first settled?

Unique plants and chemicals

Plants evolving in isolation

Part of story: Plant extracts

Tourism, recreation and sport

First European explorers

Part of story: King Country region