Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand


Shops and restaurants line The Strand in Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, overlooking Kororareka Bay


While it is certainly known for its obliging climate and wealth of outdoor activities, New Zealand’s Bay of Islands also holds a significant position in New Zealand history: the town of Russell was the first permanent European settlement in the country.  The Māori people, having arrived centuries earlier, were none too pleased with this development — Chief Hone Heke sacked the town in 1845, sparing only the Mission House.  Signed here, the landmark Treaty of Waitangi eventually sorted things out and remains the cornerstone of race relations in New Zealand today.



The southern side of town overlooking Kororareka Bay is all New Zealand recreational reserves, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand


One of the country’s first European settlements, Russell was at one time known as the “hell hole of the Pacific” for being a lawless town.  Now a romantic seaside destination, it offers excellent dining options with fresh local seafood as the highlight.  It is accessible by road, but more easily reached via the ferry frequently operating to and from Paihia, where our ship was anchored.  We spent a very enjoyable day taking the ferry to and back from Russell where he had a terrific seafood lunch overlooking the bay (see photograph, below) and hiked to the opposite shore after walking and shopping in the central village



Our al fresco fresh seafood luncheon at The Gables – begun with a nice, crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc — was served to us sitting under a tree at a table on the edge of the Bay, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand; this was one of the most pleasant spots for lunch in many years of travel



The carved “pou” in the garden of the Russell Museum commemorate the life of Tamati Waka Nene (1780s – 1871), a high-ranking chief among his peoples locally, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand



We found this interesting sign on our uphill walk out of central Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to Long Beach on Oneroa Bay on the east side of the peninsula



Long Beach on Oneroa Bay on the east side of the peninsula, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand



With the large number of major earthquakes in New Zealand and the surrounding area, Tsunamis are a major fear in the aftermath of a “big one”; Long Beach, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand



A final view of the northern peninsula around Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, from the return ferry to Paihia


3 thoughts on “Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

    • No, we did not see a kiwi 😦
      We were aware that they come out at or after dusk and are mostly nocturnal “birds” (who apparently a zillion years ago DID fly to N.Z. and then LOST their flight ability).


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