Historic buildings and a seaside setting full of cafes, restaurants and art galleries gives Russell a truly romantic quality.
This charming town is the perfect base for exploring the Bay of Islands.
Russell holds an important place in New Zealand's history, being the country's first sea port, its first European settlement and New Zealand's first capital in nearby Okiato. The town's streets retain their original layout and names from 1843, and many of its historic buildings can still be visited today.
A stroll around the streets will lead you to the Catholic Mission ‘Pompallier’, which is New Zealand’s oldest surviving Roman Catholic building. Built in 1841-42, under the direction of architect Louis Perret, it was used as a printery, tannery and storehouse for the French Marist mission. Pompallier has undergone extensive award-winning conservation work and is now a working museum where past methods of tanning, printing and bookbinding can be appreciated.
Another building to admire is Christ Church, the oldest existing church in New Zealand, which still carries musket ball holes from the New Zealand Land Wars.
Russell was once known as ‘The hellhole of the Pacific’ because it was a shore leave destination for sailors, whalers and traders during the 19th century. Today the atmosphere is much more savoury - Russell is a popular a holiday town, with plenty of shops, restaurants and accommodation to suit the whole family.
At the wharf you can catch a game fishing boat to hunt for marlin, tuna, broad bill and sharks. Nearby Long Beach is a nice place for a swim. Many of the Bay of Islands daily cruises also use Russell as a departure point out to the Bay of Islands.
Russell is accessible by road, but the easiest way to visit is to catch a vehicle ferry from Opua (5 minutes), or passenger ferry from Paihia, which takes around 15 minutes.
Nestled amongst native bush land, A Tranquil Place offers free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. All guest rooms feature a patio with bay views and a kitchenette with a stove, microwave and fridge.
A Tranquil Place Accommodation is a 10-minute drive from Russell and a 35-minute drive from Paihi... (more)
This beautiful old bungalow has been rebuilt recently with 3 ensuite bedrooms for guests. Only 200 metres from Russell Beach, it is an easy, leisurely, level walk to all the fine restaurants and coffee houses. Historic Russell, with its museum and craft shops, offers natural history wit... (more)
Just 450 metres from Kororareka Bay, Bellrock Lodge offers studios with a private balcony and lovely bay and town views. It features free Wi-Fi, plus free diving, fishing and snorkelling equipment hire.
A kitchenette with a dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator is standard in all studi... (more)
Located in the centre of Russell, Chapel Cottage features full kitchen facilities, 2 bathrooms and solid timber floors. Free Wi-Fi, free car parking and all bed linen are provided.Chapel Cottage Russell is only 4 minutes’ walk from Russell Wharf, for ferry departures to Paihia. Russell’s t... (more)
Just 750 metres from Long Beach, Cloud 9 features a spa bath, a fireplace and a large private balcony offering panoramic ocean views. The property boasts an outdoor pool, a hot tub and free Wi-Fi.Located throughout Russell, Cloud 9 is within 10 minutes’ drive of Russell Museum and Russell ... (more)
Commodore's Lodge offers waterfront motel accommodation in Russell, Bay of Islands. Accommodation consists of 10 spacious self-contained motel units that are serviced daily. Luxury upstairs waterfront house available on application.Units come with fully equipped kitchen, ensuite, wireless ... (more)
Situated just outside Russell, Eagles Nest offers spacious and elegant villas with free Wi-Fi access and full kitchen facilities. Each has a large private terrace, and some villas have a private swimming pool. Guests enjoy a bottle of champagne upon arrival.All of the villas at Eagles Nest... (more)
Flagstaff lodge is a small property offering luxury accommodations in the village of Russell, in the Bay of Islands. Guests can enjoy a peaceful environment, good spa facilities and free Wi-Fi.The lodge has 4 uniquely decorated and themed guest accommodations, all which are spacious in siz... (more)
Surrounded by lovely gardens, Hananui Lodge and Apartments features accommodation with free Wi-Fi, a private balcony or patio and an LCD TV. Guests enjoy an indoor spa pool and free use of kayaks.
Accommodation options include apartments located 100 metres from the waterfront and lodge ... (more)
One self contained unit with en suite bathroom and kitchenette.Breath taking views & luxury at a great price.Enjoy peace, tranquility and ever changing harbour views from your unit or own terrace.Stroll down to our beach , take a kayak out and explore the beautiful sheltered harbour and it... (more)
Set amongst beautiful tropical gardens, Russell Motel offers comfortable accommodation just 5 minutes’ walk from Kororareka Bay. The property features an outdoor swimming pool, barbecue facilities and free parking.Motel Russell is located within 5 minutes’ walk of a number of shops and res... (more)
Orongo Bay Homestead is a historic 2-storey building that was refurbished in 1990. It enjoys views across the clear waters of Bay of Islands. Free on-site parking is provided.
The heated guest rooms have a private patio with views of the garden and lake. Each includes electric blankets,... (more)
Enjoy a stay in our delightful and immaculately restored kauri villa (c1894): sea views, wraparound verandahs in summer, guest lounge with open fire in winter, 4 queen bedrooms, 1 super-king/twin suite, ensuite bathrooms, traditional wallpapers, quilts and fresh flowers create a romantic a... (more)
Pawhaoa Bay Lodge boasts direct beach access and rooms with beautiful views of Whangaruru Harbour from your private patio. Guests enjoy free use of kayaks and snorkelling equipment.You can spend the evening relaxing in the guest lounge, which features a library and a warming fireplace. The... (more)
Located in the heart of Russell, these self-contained cottages feature private balconies and separate lounge and dining areas. Facilities include a heated swimming pool, spa pool and barbecue area.Russell Cottages is located just 300 metres from Russell Beach and the wharf for ferry servic... (more)
Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park offers great accommodation, stunning sea views, the perfect Bay of Islands location and a relaxed holiday atmosphere. We have the answer to all your Bay of Islands accommodation needs secluded motel units, family accommodation, a range of cabins, deluxe camperv... (more)
Russell's Family Park offering budget accommodation options and an ideal base for Bay of Islands tours, fishing, beaches, walks, galleries, cafes, restaurants, heritage sites, dolphin and Hole in the Rock cruises. 100m from the Okiato to Russell walkway and 1.5km from Russell village. Over... (more)
Just 3 minutes’ walk from Kororareka Bay, Settler's Cottage features a fireplace, free Wi-Fi and a private patio with barbecue facilities. Guests have access to an outdoor pool and a hot tub set in lovely gardens. Free parking for cars and boats is available on site.Settler's Cottage Russe... (more)
Offering peace and total privacy, yet just 5 minutes’ walk from Russell's wharf and town centre, Tahapuke features direct access to a private beach from the outdoor terrace with seating area and BBQ.Tahapuke Lodge is decorated with modern decor and furnishings and offers expansive views ac... (more)
The 19th-century Duke Hotel is located on the waterfront, overlooking the stunning Bay of Islands. It features a guest lounge, restaurant and bar. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.Situated in Russell town centre, The Duke of Marlborough is just 4 minutes’ walk from Russell M... (more)
Just 100-metres from the Russell waterfront, The White House boasts a hot tub and BBQ facilities. Built in the 1840s, this luxurious property features free WiFi, a fireplace and lovely garden views.
The White House Russell is a 2-minute drive from Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve and a 1... (more)
Featuring a garden setting, the modern Tiki Tiki Ora is a 6-minute drive from Russell Township and the Russell Museum. The stylish guest rooms have a balcony with views of garden, mountain and the sea. Free parking and internet access are provided.The heated guest rooms have a private bath... (more)
Exclusive 5 Star lodge overlooking the ocean harbour of historic Russell. Peaceful and serene, 1 minute from town or 10 minutes walk along the foreshore and through the forest. Easy access by ferry or road. 3 full suites, elegant art and furnishings. Activities include sailing, high speed ... (more)
A Top Motel and a warm welcome await you at Top Motel Russell in the historic township of Russell. Offering quality, comfort and family-friendly accommodation all within easy walking distance to beautiful swimming beaches, heritage buildings and sites, scenic walks, cafés, restaurants and ... (more)
No Limit - The GC V.I.P Experience Hip Hop and RnB
Comes to the Bay Of Islands Sandpit Poolroom & Bar
Featuring GOLD COASTS #1 RnB Club DJ FIVE-8
From the world famous Culture Kings DJ team. Banging out a high ... more
The Nukes from West Auckland are far more than a ukulele band. Part vaudeville, part rat-pack, part musical car crash, this talented trio deliver an engaging mix of humour and originality that audiences of all ages will ... more
Cornerstone - Whare Karakia o Manako, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands
Sat 28 Apr 2018 6:30PM / Film
Kiwi Films for Positive Change - Saturday Film and Nibble Nights
Premiering an excellent line-up of Kiwi documentary films that deliver powerful and inspirational messages of positive change and look at how ... more
Cornerstone - Whare Karakia o Manako, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands
Sat 19 May 2018 6:30PM / Film
Kiwi Films for Positive Change
Saturday Film and Nibble Nights
Premiering an excellent line-up of Kiwi documentary films that deliver powerful and inspirational messages of positive change and look at how communities ... more
The Pioneer Bar & Restaurant, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands
Sat 19 May 2018 8:30PM / Covers, Tribute Bands
Landslide is a professional 5 piece band who have been celebrating the music of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks all over the North Island for the past 5 years.
Covering all eras of Fleetwood Mac and also the 80s ... more