Russell

Travel Guide
Russell showing a coastal town and a bay or harbour

Sip drinks at charming oceanfront cafés, relax on picturesque sandy beaches and visit historic buildings in this popular town in the Bay of Islands.

Swimming, nature walking and fishing charters are just some of the many outdoor activities on offer in the seaside town of Russell. This pretty waterside settlement has excellent attractions, such as a 19th-century church and a museum, as well as historic hotels. Book a whale-watching charter for the chance to see the giant mammals breaching the water and taste excellent New Zealand wines at a nearby winery.

Russell was one of the first permanent European settlements in New Zealand. A safe anchoring place, it frequently attracted Europeans on whaling expeditions. European and American ships visiting here stimulated trade with the indigenous Māori. Learn about Russell’s remarkable Māori heritage and early European history at the town’s small historical museum.

See fascinating objects, such as scale model of the British Royal Navy research vessel, HMS Endeavour, at Russell Museum. The museum aims to preserve the history of Russell through exhibits on Māori heritage, European seafarers and settlement. The museum also showcases fascinating Māori items, including traditional weapons, fishing equipment and weavings.

Wander along the jetty at Russell Beach and watch fishermen cast into Kororareka Bay. Browse the antique stores and shops that line the beach and sip drinks at cafés and restaurants, some of which have outdoor seating. If you need a change of scenery, walk from here over to Long Beach in about 20 minutes. This sandy beach is a great place to lie out, swim and picnic.

Don’t miss Christ Church, one of the oldest standing churches in New Zealand. The historic building was completed in the 19th century. Now wonderfully restored, the church and the adjoining cemetery are a peaceful and tranquil place to visit.

Discover the historic town in the Bay of Islands, located in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. Russell is about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from Auckland. Visitors who plan on driving will have to take the car ferry from Opua to Okiato to reach here. Russell is also connected to the popular tourist town of Paihia by frequent sea ferries.

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
4.5 out of 5
35 The Strand, Bay of Islands, Russell
The price is AU$138 per night from 12 Oct. to 12 Oct.
Situated on the waterfront, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Russell Beach, Russell Museum and Russell Christ Church. Tapeka Point and Pompallier ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (506 reviews)
"I love the Duke, it’s a great piece of NZ history and the restaurant is amazing."

Reviewed on 12 Aug. 2021

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Motel Russell
Motel Russell
3 out of 5
16 Matauwhi Road, Russell
The price is AU$139 per night from 6 Oct. to 6 Oct.
Situated near the beach, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Russell Christ Church and Russell Museum. Pompallier Mission and Russell Beach are also within ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (201 reviews)
"Very comfortable bed!"

Reviewed on 5 Jun. 2021

Motel Russell
Eagles Nest
Eagles Nest
5 out of 5
60 Tapeka Road, Bay of Islands, Russell
Located in Russell, this beachfront lodge is next to a golf course and within a 10-minute walk of Tapeka Point and Flagstaff Hill. Russell Beach and Tapeka Point ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
1st Wedding Anniversary
"Perfect romantic escape for our 1st wedding anniversary. Stunning and private location and in room chef was a fantastic way to cap the experience."

Reviewed on 22 Jul. 2018

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Eagles Nest
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Seaport Village
Seaport Village
3.5 out of 5
10 Chapel Street, Russell, Far North
With direct access to the beach, this Russell apartment building is in the city centre and within a 5-minute walk of Russell Beach, Tapeka Point and Russell ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (88 reviews)
"Lovely property, close to shopping, restaurants and ferry. Very friendly manager."

Reviewed on 19 Mar. 2021

Seaport Village
Oneroa - Private and Close to Everything
Oneroa - Private and Close to Everything
21 Oneroa Rd, Russell, Northland
This family-friendly Russell apartment building is located by the sea, within a 10-minute walk of Russell Christ Church, Long Beach and Russell Beach. Tapeka ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Lovely place
"That outdoor area is amazing. Tennis table available. Great stay, we really enjoyed ourselves"

Reviewed on 28 Aug. 2021

Oneroa - Private and Close to Everything
Russell Top 10 Holiday Villas
Russell Top 10 Holiday Villas
3 out of 5
1 James Street, Russell, Northland
Situated by the sea, this villa is within a 10-minute walk of Tapeka Point, Russell Beach and Russell Christ Church. Russell Museum and Pompallier Mission are ...
3.8/5Good! (6 reviews)
"Great value for money. Awesome for families. We stayed in one bedroom villa was great little place for a night or two."

Reviewed on 30 Aug. 2020

Russell Top 10 Holiday Villas
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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