In this introduction to the Special Issue ‘Practising a New Regional Geography in Northland’, we call for a new regional geography. We use the experience of a field course to reflect upon the opportunities and challenges associated with doing ‘regional geography’ in the regions, a subdiscipline that has in recent decades been pushed into the backwaters of the discipline. We reinterpret the maxim ‘geography is what geographers do’ in a new way that emphasises pedagogy and research practice. The case of Northland and helping our students to learn experientially about community and environment under the rubric of sustainability allows us to argue the case for a reinterpretation of regional geography in these terms. We position the contributions in this Special Issue in terms of our call.