The North Island (Māori: Te Ika-a-Māui) is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the slightly larger but much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is 113,729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi) in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of 3,393,900 (June 2012 estimate).
Twelve cities are in the North Island: Auckland, New Plymouth, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier, Hamilton, Hastings, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Wanganui, Whangarei and Wellington, the capital, located at the southern extremity of the island. Approximately 77% of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island.
Tongariro National Park was the fourth national park established in the world. The active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro are located in the centre of the park.
There are a number of Māori religious sites within the park and the summits of Tongariro, including Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, are tapu (sacred). The park includes many towns around its boundary including Ohakune, Waiouru, Horopito, Pokaka, Erua, National Park Village, Whakapapa skifield and Turangi.