The North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) is one of the two main islands of New
Zealand. Cities and towns on the North Island are Auckland, New Plymouth, Tauranga,
Gisborne, Napier, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington. Approximately
three quarters of New Zealand's population lives on the North Island.
Although Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, Wellington is its capital. Wellington is at the southern extremity of the North Island where the Cook Strait divides the North and South Islands. There are daily ferry services between Wellington and Picton on the South Island.
New Zealand's South Island (Te Wai Pounamu) is home to Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill. Despite a modest share in New Zealand's population, the South Island is often referred to as the 'Mainland', given the vastness of its landmass. The South Island is perhaps best well known for its impressive natural landscape.