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Russell is a charming, elegant township in the Bay of Islands, in the Northland region of the North Island of New Zealand. A short passenger ferry ride across the bay from Paihia and the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi, this historic town is one of the earliest European settlements in New Zealand, dating back to the early 19th century. Kororāreka, as it was then known, was a lawless trading centre where whalers, seafarers and merchants mixed with adventurers, deserters and escaped convicts from Australia. Today Russell is still a favoured spot for boaties who seek safe anchorage. You will find a wide range of accommodation available and you can also arrange sightseeing, adventure or fishing activity from the Russell waterfront. If you're planning to do any island or bush hiking, be sure to call into the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre. Okiato, the port on the Russell side for the vehicular ferry from Opua, is also known as Old Russell, as it was the original Russell, when present-day Russell was still Kororāreka. Old Russell was New Zealand's first capital, in 1840, until Auckland was declared the capital in 1841 and the transfer of the administration was completed in 1842. (less...) (more...)

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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
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  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
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  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
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Points of Interest in Russell

  • Pompallier Mission, The Strand. Nov-Apr 10am-5pm, May-Oct 10am-4pm. Part of the French Catholic mission headquarters to the Western Pacific, which was in Russell. Erected in 1841-42, this building was a printery and tannery. It is the oldest industrial building in New Zealand.
  • Russell Museum, York Street (one block from the waterfront). Jan 10am-5pm; Feb-Dec 10am-4pm. Adult $7.50, child $2.
  • Christ Church, Church Street. The oldest remaining church in New Zealand. It still has holes made by musket balls during the Battle of Kororareka between British forces and Maori dissatisfied with British rule on 11 March 1845. The churchyard contains graves of the Maori chief Tamati Waka Nene (c. 1785-1871) and men who died in the 1845 battle.

Russell Beach

Russell Museum

Russell Christ Church

Long Beach

Roberton Island

Cape Brett Lighthouse

Tapeka Point Historic Reserve

Flagstaff Hill

Elliot Bay\'s Beach

Urupukapuka Island

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Popular events in Russell in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
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About Russell


  • Cruises in the Bay of Islands. Many cruises that depart Paihia also pick up and drop off passengers at Russell. See the Paihia article for cruise info.
  • Swimming is better at Long Beach, over the hill, than the town beach.


  • The Gables Restaurant +64 9 403-7670. 19 The Strand. Relaxed fine dining restaurant on the waterfront specializing in local seafood, wine and top cuts of NZ beef and lamb. One of the oldest buildings in the country, it has beautiful wooden floors and panelling, and whale bone foundations.
  • Hone's Beer Garden & Burger Bar, 10 York St. Set amongst palm trees, never without a relaxed reggae vibe, Hone's serves up casual meals - home-made burgers, fish 'n chips and salads.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Russell (New Zealand) on Wikivoyage.