Skip to content

Things to do in Russell

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Bar
“A must if you have time to sit back and spend some time at an icon of Russell's history. Great food options, stunning views, in the hub of Russell, on the waterfront. Its character filled, check out the old bar, inside the hotel.”
  • 39 locals recommend
Entertainment
“This is New Zealand's only surviving pioneer printery and tannery. They have hands-on demonstrations and tours of this fascinating early mission.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Beautiful food service great loverly sun sets. Book early as its a very popular restaurant.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Island
“Paihia and Russell Paihia, approximately 20 minutes drive from Kerikeri is well worth a visit for a swim and a shop. Catch the ferry across to Russell to see this delightful village, have a swim, or an ice cream or fish and chips. The Duke of Marlborough’s verandah is an excellent spot to stop for lunch on the waterfront. It may pay to get there early or to book a table if possible. Ferries are plentiful. Watch out for the massive, towering cruise ships anchored in the Bay or the odd pod of dolphins frolicking. Russell was known until the early 1840s as Kororāreka which was a lawless trading centre full of seafarers, whalers, merchants, deserters, adventures and escaped convicts from Australia. Today it is a beautiful and peaceful place well worth a visit.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Museum
“Learn the history: It was the first capital of Aotearoa ( New Zealand) Land of the Long White Cloud. The capitals true name is Kororareka ( Meaning Sweet Penguin) English name Russell. The locals still know Russell as Kororareka. Learn about how the colonials, whalers intermingled with the Maori how they traded how the missionaries came in to the Maori environment and transformed there ways. Lots and lots more never neverless interesting ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Hotel
“A great stop for a beer or wine when visiting Russell. First pub in New Zealand with lots of history. ”
  • 11 locals recommend
Island
“There are great tracks on Urupukapuka island with stunning views. The complete walk around the island takes about 5 hours. The island can be reached by taking a ferry from Paihia to Otehei Bay. ”
  • 9 locals recommend
Travel Agency
“Fullers have numerous day trips out to and through the Bay's many islands including Cape Brett - a must! - and on a calm day they will take you through the gigantic rock! ”
  • 7 locals recommend
Winery
“This vineyard is situated on the road between Opua and Russell. Lovely wines, great pizzas and platters, and great friendly people. Lovely views over the bay to Paihia.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Place to shop
“Good service, friendly staff. Gets very busy during peak season. Allow plenty of time.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Place to eat
“Awesome pizza and fish tacos. Gorgeous garden setting with living succulent walls and palms. Feels like the "Forge in the Forest". Our favourite for a casual meal with good wine and beer choices.”
  • 5 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“The list of movies playing and times is normally on the noticeboard on the side of Four Square by the Russell wharf. It's a little bit quirky and the movies are not always up to date but a nice way to end the day. Ask about local restaurant deals too if you are goingl.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Park
“Superb views and historic flag pole that dates back to disputes between the native Maoris and early British settlers”
  • 6 locals recommend
Church
“Christ Church is the country’s oldest surviving church and was built in 1835.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Café
“Casual dining along the Strand - very good coffee! We occasionally paddle over for a hearty breakfast....”
  • 7 locals recommend
Entertainment
“Basic Food but well priced and very delicious - variety of meals. Iconic - great photos and game fishing history recorded on walls ...”
  • 7 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Bar
“A must if you have time to sit back and spend some time at an icon of Russell's history. Great food options, stunning views, in the hub of Russell, on the waterfront. Its character filled, check out the old bar, inside the hotel.”
  • 39 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Beautiful food service great loverly sun sets. Book early as its a very popular restaurant.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Friendly and informal, good food and service, great waterfront site. Brunch, lunch and dinner. Eat inside or out.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Restaurant
  • 2 locals recommend
Resort
“Take a day trip to Otehei Bay on Urapukapuka Island. Go with Explore about $40 return A fantastic day out in Summer. On a nice day you can set up by the cafe with their bean bags or tables and stay all day by the beach. Paddle boats and kayaks available to hire. A bar and good food and snacks. Reasonable prices. There are lots of walks you can take from here around /across the island to other bays. See or call Collette at The Russell Information Centre +64 (0) 9 403 8020 to book your ferry and times. Tell her I sent you. ”
  • 3 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Opua marina is only minutes drive from Seedpod Treehouse. Marina cafe is a great place to start your morning. Beautiful setting, top location, a fabulous view out over the harbour”
  • 3 locals recommend
Fish & Chip Shop
  • 2 locals recommend
Bar
  • 1 local recommends

Get to know Russell

Explore more on Airbnb

Experiences in Russell