Russell (New Zealand)

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.

Get in

By car

Take State Highway 11 to Opua and catch the vehicle ferry to Okiato (Old Russell), seven kilometres from present-day Russell. The ferry sails every 10 minutes from one side or the other, starting from Okiato at 06:40 and finishing with the 22:00 sailing from Opua. Car and driver $11, additional passengers $1.

Alternatively, drive the long way round on a now fully tar-sealed, scenic, coastal route via Oakura by turning off State Highway 1 at Whakapara, about 26 km north of Whangarei.

By boat

Take a passenger ferry from Paihia. Return fares $12 adults, $6 children (under 15 years). The slower ferry takes about 15 minutes. First sailings 07:00 from Russell and 07:20 from Paihia. Final sailings Oct-May 22:00 from Russell and 22:30 from Paihia, Jun-Sep 19:00 from Russell and 19:30 from Paihia.

Get around





Duke of Marlborough Hotel

Stay safe

The police station is on The Strand on the waterfront. ☎ +64 9 403-9090 Fax: +64 9 403-9091

Go next

Bay of Islands

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.