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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 Okiato to Orongo Walk - Walk 5 - BOI Walking Weekend Full Circle  Walk - Walk 6 - BOI Walking Weekend Moturua Island and Motuarohia Island Walk - Walk 9
The Snapper Surprise Fishing Comp
The Duke Tavern, Russell
Saturday 4 April 2015
Russell Birdman Festival
Russell Wharf, Russell
From Friday 10 July 2015 to Sunday 12 July 2015
Okiato to Orongo Walk - Walk 5 - BOI Walking Weekend
The Duke Tavern, Russell
From Friday 2 October 2015 to Saturday 3 October 2015
Full Circle Walk - Walk 6 - BOI Walking Weekend
The Duke Tavern, Russell
Saturday 3 October 2015
Moturua Island and Motuarohia Island Walk - Walk 9
The Duke Tavern, Russell
From Saturday 3 October 2015 to Sunday 4 October 2015

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Crows Nest Villas
Crows Nest Villas - Apartment, Luxury Accommodation, Retreat. Prepare yourself for a totally discerning experience with two exclusive Villas that overlook the magnificent blue-green...
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Bay of Islands Kayaking
Bay of Islands Kayaking - Kayaking - Starting from NZ $110.00 per person - Paihia. We offer ECO KAYAK and KAYAK FISHING TOURS in the Bay of Islands. Come and join us at Bay of Islands Kayaking on a...
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