Top 9 Things to do in Russell, New Zealand

April 5, 2018 Ying Subia

The seaside town of Russell is one of the most popular destinations in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. The area teems with a mash-up of indigenous and European history, evident in its architecture and historic sites. Sail around the bay on a chartered yacht or iconic tall ship or explore the multiple personalities of The Gables 1847, which has served as a bakery, bordello and shelter for AWOL sailors on the lam.
Restaurants in Russell

1. Pompallier Mission and Printery

The Strand, Russell, New Zealand +64 9-403 9015
Excellent
75%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 456 reviews

Pompallier Mission and Printery

Pompallier Mission, where Catholic missionaries translated religious texts into Maori, printed and bound them into beautiful books, was a saintly enclave in the most sinful site of the southern seas. In what is undoubtedly one of the best heritage tours in the country, our passionate guides will take you through the steps of leather and book-making as it was done by courageous pioneers living in this tiny outpost, over 150 years ago. Hear the stories of the lives and times of French missionaries caught up in British Treaty-making and war between Maori and European settlers. Delight in our award winning heritage Gardens, take in the wonderful views across the Bay and browse our gift shop for a unique reminder of a special place.

Reviewed By Lyn R - Cairns

Lovely spot on the waterfront; beautiful Gardens, good cafe. A guided tour provides insights into the history of the area and the evolution of Catholicism, and the printing and tanning industries.

2. Christ Church

Church Street, Russell, New Zealand +64 9-403 7696
Excellent
53%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 283 reviews

Christ Church

Nau mai, haere and welcome to Christ Church, New Zealand's oldest existing church and cemetery. A digital walk can be downloaded from the App stores from Hikoi Tahi Walking Tours which share the fascinating stories of some of the people buried here. Enjoy visiting our cemetery and do visit our beautiful church.

Reviewed By A R H - Charleston, South Carolina

A lovely setting and the graves of both Maori and settlers give a fascinating glimpse of the time when Russell was the nations capital. The bullet holes from the 1845 rebellion are still easy to spot. Well worth a visit to get a feel for New Zealand's early days.

3. Flagstaff Hill

Russell, New Zealand
Excellent
48%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 336 reviews

Flagstaff Hill

Reviewed By A R H - Charleston, South Carolina

Out for a walk and saw the signs to Flagstaff Hill. A 20 minute hike up the lane followed by a series of steps before you reach the car park. Those less active can drive up and then walk the 60 metres to Sundial. Great views down onto Russell and the surrounding ocean. I did it on a cloudy, drizzly day and it was still lovely, so worth a visit what ever the weather.

4. Oneroa Bay

Longbeach Road, Russell, New Zealand
Excellent
65%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 77 reviews

Oneroa Bay

Reviewed By srimanone - Joshua Tree, California

Very nice place and worth the time and effort to get there. The Hills around the bay and the local fish and bird population is extensive. This is a place to spend sometime enjoying and meditating. Will return here

5. Russell Museum

2 York Street, Russell 0202, New Zealand +64 9-403 7701
Excellent
29%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 227 reviews

Russell Museum

The Russell Museum tells the story of the development of Russell / Kororareka, from a small Maori fishing village, to a port of call for visiting ships and whalers to today's tourist town. Among the museum collections is Maori taonga including a small waka (canoe), a one-fifth scale model of Captain Cook's Endeavour, an original whaleboat and mementos of game fisherman, Zane Grey. Enjoy watching the DVD of historic Russell and see the Exhibitions that are on display in the gallery. We hope you enjoy your visit. The Museum gift shop features a wide range of special gifts, souvenirs and books. The Russell Museum operates as a registered charity and does not receive any funding for operational expenses. The Museum is self funded by the entrance fee, research charges and profits from the Museum shop.

Reviewed By anthonyjames1000 - United Kingdom

nice place very interesting for an hour or so or longer if you happen to be a museum buff not very far from anywhere as this town is quite small

6. Paroa Bay Winery

31 Otamarua Road | Paroa Bay, Russell 0272, New Zealand +64 9-403 7928
Excellent
72%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 52 reviews

Paroa Bay Winery

Nestled in a beautiful setting amid the hills of Paroa Bay near Russell, Paroa Bay Winery is a new family owned boutique vineyard combining luxury accommodation and traditional handmade, sustainable wines. We employ traditional techniques of viticulture and dry grown vines in the hope of creating distinctive handcrafted wines of character in low yields, reflecting the white clay soils and warm climate of the Bay of Islands. On an estate covering 24 hectares of rolling hills, we currently have just 4.5 hectares of planted vines including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot. This private, world-class retreat offers a safe, clean, green refuge and is nestled amongst some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the world, including seven hectares of Gardens, lavish accommodation and extensive recreational facilities spanning along a sweeping coastline. Tarapunga is an exciting luxury residence, finished to the highest standard, which ensures every indulgence is catered for. Contemporary interiors and artwork, home theatre, gymnasium and gourmet kitchens provide in-home recreation, while outdoor the 17m infinity heated pool and spa, sauna and large entertaining decks capture the astounding views across the Bay of Islands. The vineyard cottage is a two bedroom / two bathroom (with additional optional bedroom) house set among the peaceful rolling hills of Paroa Bay and a 10 minute stroll to a secluded beach. Visitors can enjoy strolls surrounded by acres of landscaped Gardens, native trees, birds and vineyards and enjoy all the comforts of this first class home. The newly refurbished cottage offers 2 full bathroom suites, a powder room, an open fireplace in the main lounge leading to covered terraces with a private swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and BBQ.

Reviewed By fido0 - London, United Kingdom

We stayed at the Vineyard Cottage overlooking the estate. It is a lovely house with stunning views and a small swimming pool which we used every day as well as a outdoor hot tub to view the stars at night. We arrived exhausted from our trip from the UK but had a warm welcome and found from the minute we crossed the threshold of the cottage we started to unwind. It is about 15 minutes drive from Russell where there are lots of places to eat, there is a Kauri Forest to visit nearby and l would definitely go to Elliot Bay which has fun surf. Lovely birdsong and we saw several kingfishers around the grounds. It really is a very spoiling place to stay which we loved and we look forward to returning to stay there when we next visit New Zealand.

7. The Strand Beach

Russell, New Zealand
Excellent
42%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 21 reviews

The Strand Beach

Reviewed By Mohsman - Lewisville, Texas

This is a very nice, narrow beach, composed of small pebbles abutting a grass border very close to downtown Russell. Russell Town Hall, a war memorial, and some restaurants are just behind it. It is shaded by trees and there are some tables and chairs to relax in. The views of moored boats, the pier, and across the bay are great. It is an excellent place to take a break while visiting Russell.

25 York St, Russell 0202, New Zealand +64 9-403 8360
Excellent
69%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 21 reviews

Just Imagine Gallery

Reviewed By molecular_4u - Brisbane, Australia

I would have purchased an item here but the lady in the store was too busy explaining the new coffee machine to a work colleague. When she did speak she was dismissive and her tone was rude and condescending. Her loss as i probably saved $1500 on a piece of beautiful glass.

9. Tapeka Point Track

Du Fresne Place, Russell, New Zealand +64 9-407 0300
Excellent
44%
Good
56%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Tapeka Point Track

Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip.

Reviewed By Patrick L - Melbourne, Australia

The Point at Tapeka Point is a quiet spot here in the neighborhood of Russell town.
The views are great and the water is nice, clear and cool.
There's even toilet facilities here which makes it an easier go-to place however you probably need transportation as it not that nearby to Russell town.

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