Far North District CouncilCommunity profile
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Far North District

About the profile areas

The 2018 population for Far North District is 65,241, with a population density of 0.10 persons per hectare.


Note: This page displays the area boundaries used for the 2018 Census. In some cases, these are significantly different to the pre-2018 areas. For more on this, see the Census 2018 page.

Location and boundaries

The Far North District is located at the northern-most tip of New Zealand’s North Island, about 200 kilometres north of the Auckland CBD. The Far North District is bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the north and east, the Whangarei District and the Kaipara District in the south, and the Tasman Sea in the west.

Name origin

The Far North District is named to describe its location; the northern-most district of New Zealand.

Profile areas
Far North District

Settlement history

European settlement of the Far North District dates from 1819 when the first mission settlement was established in Kerikeri, following Captain Cook’s arrival in the Bay of Islands in 1769. Early industries included ship building, whaling, timber milling, crop growing, grazing and dairy farming. In 1840 The Treaty of Waitangi was signed by both the Māori Chiefs and the British Crown at Waitangi. Population growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s, aided by the kauri gum trade, the opening of the railway line, and growth in the dairy farming and fishing industries. Expansion continued during the post-war years, particularly from the 1950s to the 1970s, spurred by improved access and tourism (especially in the coastal areas). The population of the District increased gradually between 1996 and 2006, rising from 53,000 to about 56,000 people, and then was relatively stable to 2013. It should be noted that the population of the District increases substantially during the summer holiday season.

Land use

The Far North District is predominantly rural, with urban and holiday areas in numerous small towns and settlements. There is a township in the north-west at Kaitaia, a cluster of towns on the east coast around the Bay of Islands (Kawakawa, Kerikeri, Moerewa, Opua, Paihia and Russell), the township of Kaikohe centrally situated to the west of them, a cluster of small settlements on the south-west coast surrounding the Hokianga Harbour (Horeke, Kohukohu, Omapere, Opononi, Panguru and Rawene), as well as other more scattered townships/settlements. The District includes considerable coastline on the east and west coasts, numerous beaches and many islands. Rural land is used largely for agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Tourism is also an important industry. The Far North District encompasses a total land area of over 7,300 square kilometres.


The Far North District is served by State Highways 1, 10 and 12, Bay of Islands Airport, Kaikohe Airport, Kaitaia Airport, the Hokianga Ferry and the Paihia - Russell Ferry.

Major features

Major features of the District include Ninety Mile Beach and numerous other beaches, Bay of Islands, Bay of Islands Maritime Park, Waiairiki Pools (Ngawha Hot Springs), Haruru Falls, Te Paki Sand Dunes, Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, Kawiti Glow Worm Caves, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Kerikeri Mission Station, Pompallier Mission, Russell Museum, Te Waimate Mission House, Rainbow Warrior Wreck, Frigate HMNZS Canterbury, numerous wineries, Ngawha Power Station, Northland Region Corrections Facility, Hokianga Hospital, Kaitaia Hospital, North Tec (Bay of Islands, Kaitaia and Rawene Campuses), Kaikohe Learning Centre (North Tec), Te Ahu Civic and Community Centre (including Far North Regional Museum), various forests, Bay of Islands Golf Club (Kerikeri), Houhora Golf Club, Kaikohe Golf & Squash Club, Kaitaia Golf Club, Kauri Cliffs Golf Course, Marty’s Golf and Archery Range, Peppers Carrington Resort & Golf Club, Waitangi Golf Club, Bay of Islands Marina (Port Opua), a number of harbours (Herekino, Hokianga, Houhora, Mangonui, Opua, Parengarenga, Rangaunu, Whangape and Whangaroa), various walks, Twin Coast Cycle Trail, several lakes (Manuwai, Ngatu, Ohia, Omapere, Owhareiti, Rotokawau, Wahakari and Waiparera) and numerous scenic reserves.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Far North District were the Māori people.

Included areas

The Far North District includes the localities (Census area units) of Ahipara, Awanui, Bay of Islands, Haruru Falls, Herekino, Hokianga North, Hokianga South, Houhora, Kaeo, Kaikohe, Kaitaia East, Kaitaia West, Kapiro, Karikari Peninsula-Maungataniwha, Kawakawa, Kerikeri, Kohukohu, Mangapa-Matauri Bay, Moerewa, Motutangi-Kareponia, Ngapuhi-Kaikou, North Cape, Oheawai, Okaihau, Omapere and Opononi, Opua East, Opua West, Paihia, Pokere-Waihaha, Rawene, Russell, Taipa Bay-Mangonui, Waihou Valley-Hupara and Waitangi.