Russell is a charming town, Russell, formerly known as Kororāreka, was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand.

Kororāreka developed because of trade but soon earned a very bad reputation, a community without laws and full of prostitution, and became known as the "Hell Hole of the Pacific", despite the translation of its name being "How sweet is the penguin", (korora meaning blue penguin and reka meaning sweet).

European law had no influence and Māori law was seldom enforced within the town's area. Fighting on the beach at Kororāreka in March 1830, between northern and southern hapū within the Ngāpuhi iwi, became known as the Girls’ War. That was just the start of it!

You will find Pompallier Mission and Printery on the waterfront a beautiful nineteenth-century building located on the waterfront which once served as the headquarters to the French Catholic mission to the Western Pacific.

The history is rich, well worth taking time in this now colonial village to explore it. Now you will find beautiful clean beaches to sit on, lovely cafes and restaurants alongside some quaint shops.

Russell also offers a wide range of accommodation and activities, and of course you can jump on a boat to explore the bay.

The closest town to the Pou Herenga Tai - Twin Coast Cycle Trail is Opua.