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

Project Island Song Deep Water Cove - Walk 10 Urupukapuka Island - Walk 6 Bad Company, Foreigner: Rock Steady Supergroup Paroa Bay Surprise - Walk 3 - BOI Walking Weekend: SOLD OUT
Project Island Song
Russell Bowling Club, Russell
Saturday 30 September 2017
Deep Water Cove - Walk 10
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
Bad Company, Foreigner: Rock Steady Supergroup
The Duke of Marlborough Tavern, Russell
Tuesday 2 January 2018
Paroa Bay Surprise - Walk 3 - BOI Walking Weekend: SOLD OUT
Russell Bowling Club, Russell
Sunday 1 October 2017


Russell News

 3 Sep 2017
Just when I thought Kiwi history was staid, the Bay of Islands brought it to life
Flights from Wellington via Auckland to the Bay of Islands take no more than three hours in total, not a six-month boat trip from England, but combine fickle New Zealand weather with my rubbish planning and we'd unintentionally gone full colonial ...

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Cloud 9 Luxury Villa in RussellCloud 9 Luxury Villa in Russell - Holiday Home, Luxury Accommodation, Retreat.

Situated above the town of Russell, Cloud 9 is blessed with views across both the Pacific Ocean and the Bay of Islands...

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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