Russell New Zealand information. Russell accommodation and hotel booking, travel, tours, activities and things to do. Events, maps and news for Russell NZ.
North Island map showing Russell


In the Bay of Islands, across the water from the bustling town of Paihia and nestled under the hills is Russell. Formerly known as Kororareka, in the whaling days this calm haven used to be known as "The Hell-hole of the Pacific". At the foundation of New Zealand as a colony, Russell was named capital, before the title was moved to Auckland a year later. Today Russell is a quiet little town, home of New Zealand's oldest surviving church, built in 1835, where settlers took refuge during the 1845 sacking of the town. Bullet holes were left in the walls as a reminder of these times.

The Duke of Marlborough, the fourth hotel to be built on its waterfront site, holds the oldest liquor licence in the country. The licence dates back to 1840 but there has been a hotel on the site since 1827. In the early days it was patronized by sailors and whalers.

Russell Township Pompallier House The Strand

Pompallier House on the waterfront was built from rammed earth in 1839 by French Roman Catholic missionaries. It houses a printing press and tannery, originally used to print bibles, that are still operational.

Russell Museum, although small, contains many local and maritime artifacts, including a one fifth scale model of Cook’s ship Endeavour.

On Maiki Hill behind Russell is a flagpole erected in the same position as the four that Hone Heke, the great Maori leader, cut down in protest over the treatment of his people after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Hone Heke was one of the first signatories of the treaty but became disillusioned when the crown did not live up to his understanding of the document he signed.

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Featured Russell Events

Melbourne Cup Luncheon John Rowles
Melbourne Cup Luncheon
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell
Tuesday 1 November 2016
John Rowles
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell
Thursday 17 November 2016


Russell News

 17 Oct 2016
Have a spring fling in the beautiful Bay of Islands
While the staff serve up some fresh cooked snapper, we sit and gaze out over waters, sipping a sparkling drop and watching the last ferry head out towards Russell. Not only does this place serve fish, it also houses them. At the back is a giant ...

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Tour Russell

Tour Russell Area

Hananui Lodge and ApartmentsHananui Lodge and Apartments - Apartment, Lodge, Motel.

Haere mai! Welcome to Hananui Lodge and Apartments. Hananui Lodge is located right on Russell's waterfront with...

Dolphin Cruise to the Hole In The RockDolphin Cruise to the Hole In The Rock - Sightseeing - Paihia. Starting from NZ $105.00 per adult.

Step onboard our luxury "Dolphin Seeker" catamaran and take a half- day bay of Islands cruise in search of dolphins and...


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