Russell was the first capital of New Zealand and one of the first European settlements. The charming colonial style town is rich in history and tells the stories of the first European settlers.
Whaling ships began calling here in the early 1800s. By 1840, Russell was the largest European settlement in the country, and despite the missionary station nearby, became known as ‘the hellhole of the Pacific,’ a rough hang out at the end of the known world.
Although it was the first capital of New Zealand, this title was soon moved to Auckland where it remained until 1865 (when it was moved to Wellington to be more central).
Catch the ferry from Paihia to Russell and enjoy a cold drink by the seaside at the historical Duke of Marlborough hotel, explore the local shops and galleries or just relax on the beach.