EXPLORE RUSSELL & BEYOND

There are just so many things to see and do in the beautiful Bay of Islands. The sea is sheltered and usually calm, with many islands and bays. Sub tropical native bush is dominated by the native Pohutakawa trees, with bright red flowers in December and January. Golden stretches of sand spill into a crystal turquoise sea. The Bay of Islands is a spectacular, exciting holiday ground, whether you want action or relaxation. Here are just some of the many activities and destinations:

The ferry is a popular way to explore the Bay of Islands. Catch one of the ferries from Russell wharf to Paihia.

Russell Mini Tours

Visits areas of historic interest around Russell and Russell peninsular. Enjoy remarkable views of the Bay of Islands and learn about the local history through the driver’s informative commentary. Tours depart regularly throughout the day from Russell wharf.

Russell Museum

Russell Museum gives a fascinating insight into the history of Russell – Kororareka, ‘Hell hole of the Pacific’ , whaling days, sword-fishing ‘capital’ made famous by Zane Grey, 1/5 scale model of Cook’s ship Endeavour, Maori artifacts, historic video… 2 York St. Russell. Open daily except Christmas Day. January 10.00am – 5.00pm, February – December 10.00am – 4.00pm.
Ph: (09) 403 7701. e-mail: rslmuseum@xtra.co.nz

Pompallier House

Historic factory built by the catholic missionaries in 1842 to print books. New Zealand’s oldest catholic building and the oldest industrial building. Today Pompallier House has been restored as a working museum – printing, tanning, and binding books. The Strand, Russell. Daily from 10:00. Hourly guided tours from 10.15am May – October.
Ph: (09) 403 9015. e-mail: pompallier@historic.org.nz Web: www.historic.org.nz

Paihia

Take the passenger ferry from Russell wharf across to Paihia. The trip takes about 15 to 20 minutes on the conventional ferry, or about 10 minutes on the Kings fast ferry. Then go shopping in Paihia, or check out the cafes and bars.

Paihia Mainstreet Paihia Waterfront Kings fast ferry

Kawiti Glow-worm Caves

Fascinating limestone caves, 200m long, up to 20m high and 12m wide in places. 5 kilometers south of Kawakawa / 50km north of Whangarei. Ideal stop-over on the way up to Russell, or on the way home. Guided tour takes about 30 minutes. Informative commentary on history of the cave, stalagtites and stalagmites,  and the beautiful glow-worm formations. 10 minute bushwalk meanders through native bush and rock formations, back to carpark. Cost $15.00 per person (no EFTPOS)
Main road, 5km south of Kawakawa. Ph (09) 404 0583 or (09) 404 1256 
 

Kerikeri Mission House & Stone Store

Kerikeri Mission House is New Zealand’s oldest standing building. It was built in 1821 for Rev. John Butler. The Stone Store was built nearby in 1832 – 1836 to house New Zealand mission wheat from the mission farm in Waimate North. Both buildings are conserved by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
246 Kerikeri road, Kerikeri
Ph (09) 407 9236. e-mail: kkmission@historic.org.nz Web: www.historic.org.nz

The Cream Trip Cruise

The original ‘Cream Trip’ Supercruise. This famous cruise follows the traditional ‘cream trip’ visiting many islands around the spectacular Bay of Islands. Mail and supplies are still picked up and delivered during the cruise. The excursion takes most of the day. A ‘must do’ – The Fullers ‘Cream Trip’ Supercruise departs daily 10.00am and returns 4.15pm. Fullers also run numerous other cruises, including ‘Hole in the Rock’, ‘Swim with Dolphins’, and other island adventures.
Fullers Bay of Islands
Martime Building, Marsden road, Paihia. Ph: (09) 402 7421.
The Strand, Russell. Ph: (09) 403 7866.
e-mail:
info@fboi.co.nz Web: www.fboi.co.nz

Cape Brett and Hole in the Rock

Cruise out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Then to Motukokako Island and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ and through the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return pass through the inner islands fringed with golden sand beaches. Morning cruise departs daily from Russell 9.25am, and 1.45pm. (Report 15 mins. prior). Kings also operate a ‘Day in the Bay’ cruise which includes ‘Swim with Dolphins’, ‘Hole in the Rock’, and ‘Cream Trip’ route. Departs Russell 9.40am and returns 3.50pm.
Kings Dolphin Cruises & Tours
Maritime Building, Marsden road, Paihia
Ph: (09) 402 8288. e-mail:
info@dolphincruises.co.nz Web: www.dolphincruises.co.nz

Cape Reinga

Take a day coach tour to Cape Reinga, at the top of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean crash together. Wander out to the Cape Reinga Lighthouse. Walk through Puketi Kauri Forest. Thunder along Ninety Mile Beach (subject to tides). Ride the sand sledges on the sand dunes. Take a swim, dig for shellfish (subject to tides) and see the picturesque village of Mangonui. Coach tours depart daily from Paihia at 7.15am and return approx 6.30pm. Both Fullers and Kings run tours to Cape Reinga.
Fullers Bay of Islands
Martime Building, Marsden road, Paihia. Ph: (09) 402 7421.
The Strand, Russell. Ph: (09) 403 7866.
e-mail:
info@fboi.co.nz Web: www.fboi.co.nz
Kings Dolphin Cruises & Tours
Maritime Building, Marsden road, Paihia
Ph: (09) 402 8288. e-mail:
info@dolphincruises.co.nz Web: http://www.dolphincruises.co.nz/

Mack Attack

Powered by two 660hp turbo motors, Mack Attack skims over the water at speeds up to 50 knots. Once through the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruises deep inside the grand Cathedral Cave, stops at various places of interest. An spectacular high speed adventure. Departs Russell (high season) 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm. Other times subject to demand.
Kings Dolphin Cruises & Tours
Maritime Building, Marsden road, Paihia
Ph: (09) 402 8288. e-mail:
info@dolphincruises.co.nz Web: www.dolphincruises.co.nz

R. Tucker Thompson

Tall Ship Sailing. Enjoy the romance and freedom of sail and explore the Bay as Captain Cook would have. Tall tails from a friendly crew. Help set the sails, take the helm, or relax on deck. Freshly brewed Devonshire tea with scones baked on board. At lunchtime the ship anchors in a secluded bay, where you step ashore. BBQ lunch cooked on board. Sails daily October to May.
Ph: (09) 402 8430. e-mail: reservations@tucker.co.nz Web: www.tucker.co.nz

Russell Boating Club

On Matauwhi Bay (the first bay as you drive in to Russell) – the home of local and visiting yachts from around the world – and organizers of the popular Tall Ships Race, hangi & dance in early January. The Russell Boating Club runs a full summer racing program, which visiting yachts can also participate in for a small entry fee. RBC is a voluntary run club. The bar is open and meals are served (7.00pm) on wednesday, friday and sunday nights. A good place to meet some of the local and international yachties. Visitors are welcome but you must sign in.
Ph: (09) 403 7822. e-mail: georg@activeweb.co.nz (membership officer) Web: www.russell.org.nz  

Scenic Flights

Saltair offer a range of scenic flights around the Bay of Islands and beyond. Experience the spectacular Bay of Islands from the air. Saltair also offer 1/2 day fly/drive tours to cape reinga, the nothernmost tip of new Zealand.

Ph: 09 402 8338. e-mail: info@saltair.co.nz  Web: www.saltair.co.nz   

Waimate North

Waimate North is the site of a historic catholic mission house, the second oldest building in New Zealand. Restored and refurbished in original style. Open November to April 10.00am – 5.00pm saturday, sunday and monday. A fine two storey building, the one remaining mission house of three built in the 1830s. The historic Church of St John the Baptist and New Zealand’s oldest oak tree are also here at Waimate North. About 30 mins. drive from Paihia. Drive north along Marsden road (Paihia waterfront road) towards Waitangi. Turn left at Puketona road and drive for some 10 km right to the end of the road (Puketona Junction) Turn right onto the main road (Highway 11) then after only a short distance turn left to Waimate North.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maori Chiefs and the British Crown on 6th February 1840. The Treaty House and Marae (Maori sacred meeting house) are set on beautiful sweeping lawns overlooking the Bay. The grounds are also home to a cafe, hotel, and 18 hole golf course. Nearby Mount Bledisloe offers unparalleled views of the Bay of Island. The Treaty grounds are open daily from 9.00am (closed Christmas Day). From Damar, you can walk down to the Russell wharf, take the ferry across to Paihia, then walk north along the beach (until you come to Waitangi. The walk takes about 25 – 30 minutes, and makes a good half day outing. There is a cafe at Waitangi, and there’s an excellent ‘Fish and Chip’ shop on Te Ti beach (between Paihia and Waitangi) – if you feel like Fish & Chips on the beach !
1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi. Ph: (09) 402 7437. e-mail: entmanager@waitangi.net.nz Web: www.waitangi.net.nz

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