Russell Travel Guide

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  • One day I will look at this every evening
    One day I will look at this every...
    by RanR
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Russell Things to Do

  • Russell Museum

    Also visited Russell Museum in my search for info on the early French in the region....very little on the French influence/history of the town, considering explorer Marion du Fresne was killed and eaten there by the Maori. Apart from a small ship model with French flag and 3 or 4 lines explanation, nothing about the French in the museum, really....

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  • Visit Pompallier

    Pompallier is a famous historic French Catholic Mission house, the original French bishop’s Catholic HQ of the Bay of Islands, and where the first bibles in Maori were printed (for the Catholics to get ahead of the Protestants on the other side of the bay to convert the Maori)It’s run by the NZ national trust and cost us $7.50 ea to get in – which...

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  • Pompallier House.

    In 2006, I finally got a chance to explore this picturesque building in Russell. It is a place you must visit when in Russell as it has been wonderfully restored and houses interesting working displays of the building's surprising industrial heritage. This building was actually NZ's first factory! Downstairs there is a working tannery. Upstairs...

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  • Pompallier House

    Built in 1841 - 1842, Pompallier House is the only remaining building of the first Catholic Mission to Western Oceania. I didnt venture into the grounds, but it is definately worth a peak through the gate at the building and inside if you wish to know more.

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  • New Zealand's quaintest police station?

    Russell's heritage buildings have generally been well preserved and the old police station on the waterfront still serves its law and order function. "Business" started in 1870 and today the station is a charming feature as you walk along Russell's waterfront.

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  • New Zealand's oldest church.

    Christ Church, in Russell, is the country's oldest and bears the scars of some turbulent times during the 1840s. Today it is a quaint little church, one street back from the waterfront in town. Explore the graveyard and learn a little bit of NZ's history from the tombstones and the stories related by them. Keep an eye out for the musket ball holes...

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  • Chist Church - NZ's oldest surviving...

    Christ Church built in 1836 is the oldest surviving church in the country. As the only building of consequence in the town the church was used for many purposes. In 1840 immediately on Captain Hobson's arrvial in New Zealand the church was used as a public hall and the first official act was performed. Hobson read the Crown Proclamation which...

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  • Flagstaff Hill

    On Flagstaff Hill is the site of the flagpole erected in January 1858. After being unceremoniously cut down not once but four times but Hone Heke and his men.On this spot was erected in the year 1840 the first official signal Flagstaff after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Owing however to misunderstanding between the two races the original...

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  • Russell Police Station

    This historic house was designed by W.H.Clayton, the Colonial Architect in the late 1860's. First occupied in 1870. It served as a custom house until the 1890's.It became a Police Station and residence in the early 1900s and is still being used today.The adjacent Morton Bay Fig Tree was planted by the first collector of customs who served from 1870...

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Russell Hotels

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Russell Restaurants

  • RanR's Profile Photo

    by RanR Updated Sep 27, 2006

    This colonial style hotel has a warm friendly atmosphere with friendly service inside it's decorated in period style with a big open fire place. But the views over the harbour was what I liked about it.

    Favorite Dish: The Rib eye fillet steak. Is to die for. That is no exaggeration I've eaten in loads of restaurants on my travels and I've only ever found two that do steak how I like it and this is one of them. If only I could have had a bearnaise sauce it would have been extasy instad of only incredible.

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Russell Transportation

  • The only quick way to Russell is by...

    Russell is essentially isolated, and though you can get there by road, it's a very roundabout route around the bay which looks as though it could take about an hour....so you have the choice of the little passenger ferries which run from the wharf in the centre of Paihia, or the car ferry which leaves from the ferry ramp about 3 kms further around...

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  • Getting to Russell.

    The quickest way to get to Russell is by ferry from Paihia. There is a road, but it is long and windy and probably quite exhausting. The AA in New Zealand classifies it as a dangerous road.The ferries from Paihia, across the Bay run roughly every twenty minutes up to about 10pm in the summer. All of the companies charge $NZ5 one way, and that is...

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  • Blue, Red and White Ferries

    Russell is only 3Km across the bay from Paihia and ferries cross the harbour frequently. The blue and white ferries slowly cross the harbour, but if you are in for a bit of fun then jump on the red ferry, this ferry is smaller and im sure the driver is a speed freak. With the amount of water traffic in the Bay all you need is some wake of a passing...

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Russell Local Customs

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    - Maori God of the Sea.

    by shiran_d Written Feb 8, 2003

    Kia Ora!

    Be welcomed by a Maori Powhiri. Cruise through the inner islands and out to the Hole in the Rock along with Dolphin and Whale Watching. Full commentary on the history of the Bay of Islands. Hear Maori myths and legends of Tangaroa.

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Russell Favorites

  • Beach & sea views

    Russell's little waterfront area is quite small, quaint and natural. I enjoyed my waterfront walk here much more than Paihia, where in comparison, there's too much going on. Russell is quite leisurely.

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  • Quaint scenes & architecture of Russell

    Though there aren't a lot of shops in the streets of Russell, there are several buildings with nice, colonial type architecture to admire, like the scenes below.

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  • Maiki - Flagstaff Hill.

    Maiki, or Flagstaff Hill, above Russell is where you can learn about the turbulent period of the mid 1800s. This is where local Maori showed their anger at the way the colonial adminstration was running things. They cut the flagpole down four times here. However, they later erected the present one as a sign of reconciliation. Take time to read the...

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