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

Bad Company, Foreigner: Rock Steady Supergroup Katchafire, The Black Seeds & Aaradhna The Feelers with The Eastern Coco On the Deck Elemeno P & Jordan Luck Band
Bad Company, Foreigner: Rock Steady Supergroup
The Duke of Marlborough Tavern, Russell
Tuesday 2 January 2018
Katchafire, The Black Seeds & Aaradhna
The Duke of Marlborough Tavern, Russell
Wednesday 3 January 2018
The Feelers with The Eastern
The Duke Tavern, Russell
Thursday 4 January 2018
Coco On the Deck
The Duke of Marlborough Tavern, Russell
Today to Saturday 25 November 2017
Elemeno P & Jordan Luck Band
The Duke of Marlborough Tavern, Russell
Thursday 28 December 2017


Russell News

 13 Nov 2017 
Saving the kiwi: Bay Bush Action's work as the guardians of Opua Forest
New Zealand Herald
... to preserving the forest, near Paihia in the Bay of Islands, and reintroducing the native wildlife that has become extinct in the area. Brad Windust and Stella Schmid with Ngahere Toa group helping release endangered birds on a pest free island in ...

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