Russell is a popular spot for boaties and holiday makers.
Russell , Northland & Bay of Islands

By Destination Northland

Quaint and charming, the township of Russell is steeped in early New Zealand history.
Russell , Northland & Bay of Islands

By Destination Northland


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.

Content courtesy of Tourism NZ

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Bellrock Lodge - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 studios. Each air-conditioned studio features flat-screen satellite TV, a D... (more)
Commodores Lodge - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 internet access, Sky TV and DVD player. Other facilities include swimm... (more)
Eagles Nest - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 Russell have a living room with a plasma-screen satellite TV and a DV... (more)
Flagstaff Lodge & Day Spa - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 size. Each room has a modern private bathroom.Breakfast is included in th... (more)
Hananui Lodge and Apartments - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 rooms offering sea views. Each apartment, studio and suite offer a kit... (more)
Motel Russell - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
Russell, Russell
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 restaurants. The historic Pompallier House is less than a minute’s walk a... (more)
Pawhaoa Bay Lodge - Accommodation in Whangaruru New Zealand
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 guest dining room also offers lovely views of the harbour. There is a... (more)
Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 campervan sites and more. Our Holiday Park offers accommodation near the cent... (more)
Russell-Orongo Bay Holiday Park - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
Bay of Islands, Russell
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. Overlooking Orongo Bay, native bush setting in kiwi and weka protection zo... (more)
Tahapuke - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 across the sea to Paihia and Waitangi. Guests enjoy exclusive access to ... (more)
The Duke Of Marlborough - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 Museum and the historic Pompallier House. Paihia is a 40-minute drive a... (more)
Titore Lodge - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 boats to the islands, game fishing, diving, para-sailing, scenic fligh... (more)
Top Motel Russell - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
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 cruise departure points, so you can make the most of what the beautifu... (more)
Triton Suites Motel - Accommodation in Russell New Zealand
Triton Suites Motel offers modern accommodation only a 5-minute stroll from Russell's waterfront. Free car parking is included.The rooms at Triton Suites Russell include satellite TV, DVD player and bathroom toiletries. Most rooms feature full cooking facilities and great views towards the sea. Some also have a private spa bath.Triton Suites has 2 barbecue a... (more)
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 events for the next month.
  • Tutukaka Marina, Tutukaka, Whangarei District
    Mon 6 Jul 2020 10:00AM / Boating
    School Holiday Special! Bring the whole family for a boat cruise sightseeing around the beautiful Tutukaka Coast, departing from Tutukaka Marina. Look for wildlife and enjoy the stunning scenery on a half day boating ... more
  • The Pioneer Restaurant and Bar, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands
    Sat 8 Aug 2020 8:00PM / Music Festivals
    Cori Gonzalez-Macuer returns to The Pioneer with a brand new show! Having sold out his previous 2 shows here, make sure you book early. As seen on 7Days, What We Do In The Shadows, Wellington Paranormal, Mean Mums, ... more
  • Tikipunga Tavern, Whangarei
    Fri 17 Jul 2020 8:30PM / Classic Rock
    Revival Entertainment Enterprises presents “Comfortably Numb” An Outstanding Pink Floyd tribute show, performed by Top Hawkes Bay Covers and Tribute Band ”Revival“. With decades of combined experience behind ... more
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