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The Northland Peninsula, called the North Auckland Peninsula in earlier times, is in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It is joined to the rest of the island by the Auckland isthmus, a narrow piece of land between the Waitemata Harbour and the Manukau Harbour in the middle of the Auckland metropolitan area. The peninsula is not conterminous with the local government area of Northland Region, which occupies the northern 80% of the peninsula. The southern section of the peninsula is administratively part of the Auckland Region.
The peninsula stretches northwest for about 330 kilometres from the Auckland isthmus, reaching a maximum width of 85 kilometres. It has a convoluted coastline, with many smaller peninsulas branching off it.
The last 100 kilometres of its length is the Aupouri Peninsula – a peninsula on a peninsula – narrowing to only some 10 kilometres in width. At its northern end, the Aupouri Peninsula includes a number of capes, each of which is claimed by some people to be the North Island's northernmost point: Cape Maria van Diemen, Cape Reinga, North Cape, and the Surville Cliffs, the actual northernmost point, at latitude 34° 23' 47" South.
The peninsula has the massive gash of the Kaipara Harbour part way up its western (Tasman Sea) shore, one of the largest natural harbours in the world, stretching some 65 kilometres in a north-south direction. Further north is the smaller Hokianga harbour, which is of historic and cultural significance, especially to the native Māori people. Another historically significant site is Waitangi and the surrounding Bay of Islands. This was a major settlement in early colonial New Zealand, and was the site of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is seen as the founding document of New Zealand's nationhood.
- Orange, Claudia (2 March 2009). "Northland region - Geography". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
Northland is a narrow peninsula, about 330 kilometres long from Auckland to Cape Rēinga. [....] The region is 85 kilometres across at its widest point.
- Franklin, Samuel Harvey (1966). "North Auckland region". In A.H. McLintock. An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
The northernmost region of New Zealand projects out as a long peninsula some 200 miles in length (from the Waitemata Harbour) and not much more than 50 miles at its widest point.