In 1838 an intrepid group of missionaries from France arrived in New Zealand in the Hokianga and came to the Bay of Islands in 1839. In 1841 they built the first ‘factory’ in New Zealand with a press dedicated solely to the Māori language, right on the foreshore in the Bay of Islands.
Too poor to buy much, they built the printery using rammed earth (or pisé de terre) for the lower storey and a timber-framed (pan de bois) upper floor with earth panels – technology and knowledge brought from across the sea.
Today, the site is still run as a printery and adults and children alike can come and witness first hand every step of how early publications were made in the building. Almost two centuries after the machinery first started operation, you can enjoy the satisfaction of preserving the building, the machinery inside and all the wonderful stories connected to this place.
- Daily, November-April, closed Christmas Day
- 10 am – 5 pm
- Daily, May-October
- 10 am – 4 pm
- Daily guided tours
- 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm.
Explore our award-winning gardens in their magnificent beach-side setting, with its wonderful views across the bay to Waitangi.
Join our tours and learn how to tan a hide, bind a book, and much more.
From 1st December to 30th April experience our special “Coffee, Croissant and Culture” Experience. This includes our award winning guided tour of Pompallier Mission followed by coffee and croissant in our small French Coffee House. The French Coffee House is open from 9 am every day.
Guided tours includes printery and garden $10 adults, $7 tertiary students, accompanied school-age children free access to the printery is by guided tour only to help preserve this precious building. Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.
Browse our Visitor Centre gift shop for a unique reminder of this special place.
#1 Trip Advisor of Things to Do in Russell. Certificate of Excellence 2014, 2015, 2016