Our Story

Tohu Whenua are places around New Zealand that matter to us.

Rich in historical or cultural significance, these places – and the stories associated with them – resonate with meaning. They provide visitors with memorable experiences, a sense of wonder and engagement, and authentic insights into New Zealand and its people.

Tohu Whenua link significant places through a series of regional trails that showcase their importance, while capturing defining moments in New Zealand’s story. They are the places and the people that have made us who we are – and offer you a sense of connection to this amazing land.

Explore our Tohu Whenua – and see the land through our eyes.

Tohu Whenua is a partnership between Manatū Taonga - Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.


Tohu Whenua acknowledges memories of the land, marking places made significant by our forebears and telling their stories.

Criteria for sites

  • Special significance to New Zealand
  • Storytelling potential
  • Iwi benefit
  • An owner willing to be part of Tohu Whenua
  • Community benefit
  • Stories that matter to people
  • Accessibility
  • Family Friendly
  • Potential to grow
  • Presentation
  • Willing owner