🇳🇿 New Zealand
Historical seaside town in the Bay of Islands

Russell - Vacation Briefing

Located in the stunning Bay of Islands, Russell is a charming seaside town with a rich history. It was the first capital of New Zealand and is known for its beautifully preserved heritage buildings. Visitors can explore the town's museums, enjoy delicious seafood, and relax on pristine sandy beaches. The crystal-clear waters offer fantastic opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming. Take a walk along Flagstaff Hill to enjoy panoramic views of the bay, or hop on a ferry to visit the famous Hole in the Rock. With its quaint streets and friendly locals, Russell is the perfect destination for those seeking a laid-back coastal getaway.

Popular Sights in Russell

Things to do during your Russell vacation

Russell is a charming town located in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. With a rich history and stunning natural beauty, it offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

  • Paihia-Russell Walkway: Enjoy a scenic walk along the Paihia-Russell Walkway, which offers stunning views of the Bay of Islands.
  • Historic Pompallier Mission: Explore the historic Pompallier Mission, a former French Catholic mission that now serves as a museum showcasing the region's history.
  • Flagstaff Hill: Visit Flagstaff Hill, a significant historic site where the flagstaff was cut down four times during the early days of British settlement.
  • Russell Museum: Discover the rich history of Russell at the Russell Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits showcasing the town's heritage.
  • Long Beach: Relax and soak up the sun at Long Beach, a beautiful sandy beach perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Bay of Islands Marina: Take a stroll along the Bay of Islands Marina and admire the array of boats and yachts moored in the picturesque harbor.
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds: Visit the nearby Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a significant historic site where the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, was signed.
  • Dolphin Watching: Embark on a thrilling dolphin watching tour and get the chance to see these intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Russell Christ Church: Explore the historic Russell Christ Church, one of the oldest surviving churches in New Zealand, and marvel at its beautiful architecture.
  • Russell Wharf: Take a leisurely stroll along Russell Wharf and enjoy panoramic views of the Bay of Islands and the surrounding islands.
  • Helicopter Tour: Experience the ultimate adventure with a helicopter tour that offers breathtaking aerial views of Russell and the Bay of Islands.

Why you should visit Russell


Russell, New Zealand is a beautiful destination with a mix of attractions and activities. While it may not be the most amazing destination, it still offers a pleasant experience for travelers.


In terms of safety, Russell, New Zealand has a relatively low crime rate. However, it is important to be cautious and aware of potential natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis.


Russell, New Zealand has a rich cultural heritage with numerous historical sites and museums. The town is known for its Maori and European influences, providing visitors with a unique cultural experience. Additionally, the local cuisine offers a diverse range of flavors to explore.


The nightlife in Russell, New Zealand is lively but not overly vibrant. There are some bars and pubs where you can enjoy a drink and socialize, but it may not cater to party-goers seeking a bustling nightlife scene.


While Russell, New Zealand may not be an adrenaline-filled adventure hub, it still offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and wildlife spotting. It's a good destination for those seeking a moderate level of adventure.


If you're seeking relaxation, Russell, New Zealand is an ideal destination. Surrounded by picturesque beaches, hiking trails, and tranquil lakes, it offers a peaceful atmosphere to unwind and enjoy nature.

Best time to visit Russell

Russell, New Zealand offers pleasant weather and fewer crowds from March to May and September to November. If you're looking for warmer temperatures and more activities, visit during the summer months of December to February.

mild weather
16°C - 23°C
pleasant weather
17°C - 24°C
ideal conditions
15°C - 22°C
pleasant climate
13°C - 20°C
11°C - 18°C
cooler climate
9°C - 16°C
driest month
8°C - 15°C
shoulder season
9°C - 16°C
blooming beauty
11°C - 18°C
ideal weather
13°C - 20°C
optimal conditions
15°C - 22°C
summer season
17°C - 24°C

A guide To your first day of Russell vacation


  • Visit the Bay of Islands to experience the beauty of New Zealand's nature
  • Take a walk along the stunning coastal trails to enjoy the breathtaking views


  • Explore the historic Russell Town, known for its charming colonial architecture
  • Indulge in a delicious seafood lunch at one of the local waterfront restaurants


  • Enjoy a scenic sunset cruise around the Bay of Islands
  • Join a traditional Maori cultural show and feast to experience New Zealand's rich heritage


  • Relax and unwind at one of the cozy local pubs, enjoying live music and friendly atmosphere
  • Take a peaceful walk along the beach under the starry night sky

How to get to Russell

By Plane

The most convenient international airports for reaching Russell, New Zealand are Auckland (AKL) and Wellington (WLG). Both airports offer frequent international flights and provide seamless connections to Russell via domestic flights or ferry. Make sure to soak in the breathtaking landscapes during your scenic journey.

By other means

Russell is easily accessible by ferry from the city of Paihia, which is just a short drive from the main airport in Bay of Islands. The ferry ride offers picturesque views of the Bay and is a convenient option for travelers. Once in Russell, you can explore the town on foot or rent bicycles for a leisurely sightseeing experience.

Tips for Booking Your Trip

Planning a trip can get tricky, right? Don't worry, we've got some solid advice to make your life easier. Here's how you can find flights and accommodations without a hitch.

Flights: How to Score the Best Deal

First things first, check out Google Flights. Their price calendar and nearby airport options are really useful. Found a good deal? Great, but hang on a sec—make sure you compare it with prices on Kayak, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kiwi. A little research can go a long way.

Accommodation: Find Your Ideal Spot

For places to stay, start by scanning and Airbnb to get an idea of what's out there. Then, level up your search by looking at Hostelworld and Agoda. Oh, and a quick tip: the hotel's own website might have some special offers, so give that a look too.

Ready to make some moves? The links you need are right below. Happy booking!



Best for travelers who are ...

History enthusiasts, seafood lovers, and beach enthusiasts

How long to stay in Russell?

A minimum of 2-3 days to fully explore the town and enjoy the nearby attractions

Similar destination to Russell, New Zealand

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