The historic town of Russell was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. Russell is a popular Bay of Islands holiday destination.
Russell was the original capital of New Zealand and its early history can be best described as very colourful. But the town wreaks of history.Since the 1700s it has provided a haven for visitors, offering shelter and hospitality. Because of its relatively remote location it retains an island quality and a charm that reflects the tranquility of earlier times. Despite this, it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan community that attracts visitors from New Zealand and all over the world - some of whom have chosen to make Russell their home.
Many people come to the Bay of Islands with marlin in mind. Zane Grey, the great American western writer and big game fisherman, pitched a tent and caught his first marlin here in 1926. He made sure the world heard about it! Today enthusiasts come from all over the globe in pursuit of marlin, broad bills and game sharks.
The Russell museum, a must to take in the history gives a great insight into the early Maori history of the Bay of Islands, the whaling industry and the early European settlement in New Zealand and the beginnings of the game fishing and tourism industry. One of the many highlights is the museum houses a one fifth replica of Captain Cook's ship the Endeavour.
Duke of Marlborough Hotel (from the web)
'The Duke', as it's affectionately known, holds New Zealand's oldest pub license. A haven of hospitality for over 150 years, The Duke today is one of the country's most gracious establishments. Relax in the old world charm of our Cane Lounge with an open log fireplace and adjacent waterfront verandah. Our House Bar is open to visitors and guests, and we offer an extensive selection of drinks, from beers to cocktails and wide range of New Zealand wines by the glass to accompany all day casual dining.
Our elegant restaurant is open daily for a traditional dining experience offering meals prepared with New Zealand's best produce. Reflecting the hotel's close association with the sea, the menu features local produce with the emphasis on freshly harvested seafood and locally caught fish as well as meats and game dishes.
Russell Christ Church
Christ Church, is believed to be New Zealand’s oldest existing church and possibly the oldest building still used for its original purpose.
Its beginnings go back to the earliest years of Maori European contact in the Bay of Islands when missionaries from across the harbour at the Paihia mission station rowed across to take services in private homes.
The grave sites are easy to get ‘lost’ in as one recounts the history.
Russell War Memorial