1,000 years ago New Zealand was first discovered by the Polynesian navigator, Kupe, who named the islands Aotearoa, which means Land of the Long White Cloud. After returning to his home, Hawaiki, he gave instructions on how to get to the islands but it wasn’t until 400 years after this that the Maori people arrived in Aotearoa and began to populate the North Island.
In 1642, Abel Tasman charted part of New Zealand’s coastline thinking it was part of the Australian continent. Once his mistake was discovered, the country was renamed Nieuw Zeeland. But it wasn’t until 1769 when Captain James Cook came to New Zealand and charted the coastlines of both the North and South Island of New Zealand that the Bay of Islands were given their present name.