Russell History

As you stroll round Russell, Bay of Islands today, you’re walking back in time. The town’s original street plan and names from 1843 are still intact and feature some of New Zealand’s oldest and most significant historic buildings. Russell Kororareka was developed initially as a shore station for shipping. The European population grew, with a mixture of deserting seamen, runaway convicts, and grog sellers, as well as settlers and traders. The township thus gained a reputation as a lawless and rowdy port and the unflattering nickname “Hell Hole of the Pacific”. Many of the buildings seen in Russell Township now are dated back to these times, and during your stay, you will be able to discover more about the amazing stories that these buildings hold.

Below are links to writings on Russell History

russell-police-stationLiving History

Two hundred years of stories to discover.

bay-of-islandsPre-Contact – TO MUA I O TAUIWI


old-russellA Hell Hole

By the early 1800s Kororāreka was quite literally on the map.

treaty-signA New Nation

Law and order in the Bay…


The Battle of Kororāreka

waitangiTranquil Times

From the 1920s Russell was discovered as an idyllic unspoilt place for holidays or retirement.