I currently live in the Philippines and Jlbowden's description applies equally well, here. Of course, in Australia and other places south of the equator you cannot see Polaris.
The only thing I would add to Jlbowden's description is that you would mark out a distance of 5x the space between the two "Big Dipper" stars (Ursa Major) "above" the dipper's cup.
Polaris is not exactly true North, but remains for the next few hundred years, the closest bright star to that position. Approximately 13,000 years ago, because of axial precession, Vega was the "pole star" -- far brighter than Polaris, but nearly 4 degrees from the pole position at its closest.
And for long stretches of time, Earth did not have a pole star, because the polar axis pointed to a relatively blank area between bright stars. Polaris's closest position to true North will happen about a century in the future, after which precession will carry the pole position farther from Polaris.
When Columbus crossed the Atlantic, Polaris had not been the "pole" star of the North for very long (~400 years) and was not as good a match as it is today.
The South Pole does not have anything like Polaris that could be called a "pole star." Sigma Octantis is the closest "bright star" to the southern polar axis, but it's over a full degree from that position and shines at an apparent magnitude of only 5.6 -- barely naked-eye visible.