The romance and sheer challenge of getting to the far-flung islands of New Zealand have made the exploration of this land a popular topic of study. There are many websites on both the Polynesian discovery and European rediscovery of New Zealand, so this feature is a carefully selected and annotated collection of website links.

For each of the following sections - Polynesian and European explorers - we have prefaced the links with a brief overview of the topic, including some discussion of the differing interpretations historians and others make regarding the discovery and exploration of this country.

How to cite this page: 'Early explorers', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Feb-2013