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

Russell Birdman Festival Omata Estate Vineyard - Walk 5 Urupukapuka Island - Walk 6 Opua Forest Walk Paihia Lookout & Sunday Lunch - Walk 17
Russell Birdman Festival
Russell Wharf, Russell
From Thursday 13 July 2017 to Sunday 16 July 2017
Omata Estate Vineyard - Walk 5
Russell Bowling Club, Russell
From Friday 29 September 2017 to Saturday 30 September 2017
Urupukapuka Island - Walk 6
Russell Bowling Club, Russell
From Saturday 30 September 2017 to Sunday 1 October 2017
Opua Forest Walk
Russell Bowling Club, Russell
Saturday 30 September 2017
Paihia Lookout & Sunday Lunch - Walk 17
Russell Bowling Club, Russell
Sunday 1 October 2017


Russell News

 23 May 2017
Bay of Islands swim team succeed at Special Olympics
The Bay of Islands swim team - which consists of swimmers aged seven to 23 who train at Kawakawa and Kaitaia pools - walked away with seven gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze medals. Their success qualified them for the Special Olympics National Summer ...

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