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Holiday Travel Guide
Russell Museum which includes street scenes

Learn about Russell’s Māori heritage and the history of European settlers through this vast collection of photographs, documents and other objects.

Inspect fascinating items, including traditional Māori weapons, whaling artefacts and large detailed models at Russell Museum. The small historical museum features an archive of more than 2,000 photographs as well as many captivating displays. See military artefacts from the Battle of Kororareka and other items from Russell’s early history.

The museum was established in the mid-20th century to preserve the history of Russell, one of New Zealand’s first Māori and European seaports. Browse a range of displays focusing on the town’s Māori heritage, whaling history and European settlement.

Exhibits at the museum trace the region’s Māori history and include such items as weapons, stone adzes, fishing lures and cloaks. Discover how Māori first arrived in the Bay of Islands by voyaging canoes. Examine the museum’s collection of Māori artefacts, including precious “hei tiki” (neck ornaments) and “mere” (clubs).

The museum also covers Russell’s history as a prominent whaling port, with displays devoted to Russell’s 19th-century whaling history. Among the many remarkable objects presented are harpoons, whalebones, flensing spades and oars.

Study a large model of Captain James Cook’s British Navy research ship, HMS Endeavour. Cook visited the Bay of Islands in the late 18th century, anchoring next to Motuarohia Island. Another interesting exhibit covers the events of the Battle of Kororareka in 1845, and includes portraits of Māori chiefs, as well as cannonballs and military artefacts.

From the museum, walk to many other nearby attractions, including a landmark 19th-century church and the town’s pretty main beach. Christ Church, which is less than 5 minutes’ away on foot, is one of the oldest standing churches in New Zealand, while the waterfront features restaurants and alfresco cafés.

Russell Museum is located in the centre of Russell in the Bay of Islands. The museum is open daily and admission charges apply. Drivers can park in the adjacent lot. Visit the on-site gift store at Russell Museum to purchase history books, bone carvings, paua shell jewellery and paintings.

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Top Trending Hotels Near Russell Museum

Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
3.5 out of 5
104 Marsden Road, Paihia
The price is £65 per night from 2 Aug to 2 Aug
This family-friendly Paihia hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 5-minute walk of Paihia Wharf and Paihia Beach. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is 1.5 mi (2.4 ...
4.2/5Excellent! (821 reviews)
"The shower was for giants not for little people would have been better on a slide Other than that it was nice"

Reviewed on 24 Jul 2021

Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
4.5 out of 5
35 The Strand, Bay of Islands, Russell
The price is £67 per night from 16 Aug to 16 Aug
Situated on the waterfront, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Russell Beach, Russell Museum and Russell Christ Church. Tapeka Point and Flagstaff ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (500 reviews)
"history, just beautiful. we had the superior room with balcony which was gorgeous"

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2021

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Motel Russell
Motel Russell
3 out of 5
16 Matauwhi Road, Russell
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £69 per night from 18 Aug to 18 Aug
Situated near the beach, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Russell Christ Church and Russell Museum. Pompallier Mission and Russell Beach are also within ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (199 reviews)
Great Value for Money
"Nice tidy spacious room. Nice pool and gardens. Very relaxed accommodation with just a short walk into Russell."

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2021

Motel Russell
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
3.5 out of 5
104 Marsden Road, Paihia
The price is £65 per night from 2 Aug to 2 Aug
Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
4.5 out of 5
35 The Strand, Bay of Islands, Russell
The price is £67 per night from 16 Aug to 16 Aug
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Motel Russell
Motel Russell
3 out of 5
16 Matauwhi Road, Russell
The price is £69 per night from 18 Aug to 18 Aug
Motel Russell
Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel
Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel
4 out of 5
130 Marsden Road, Paihia, Bay of Islands
The price is £118 per night from 9 Aug to 9 Aug
Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel
Russell Top 10 Holiday Villas
Russell Top 10 Holiday Villas
3 out of 5
1 James Street, Russell, Northland
The price is £67 per night from 2 Aug to 2 Aug
Russell Top 10 Holiday Villas
Self Contained Studio Room With Private Entrance and Stunning sea Views
Self Contained Studio Room With Private Entrance and Stunning sea Views
Russell, Northland
Self Contained Studio Room With Private Entrance and Stunning sea Views
Seaport Village
Seaport Village
3.5 out of 5
10 Chapel Street, Russell, Far North
Seaport Village
Donkey Bay Inn
Donkey Bay Inn
5 out of 5
38 Long Beach Road, Russell
The price is £298 per night from 16 Aug to 16 Aug
Donkey Bay Inn
Hananui Lodge and Apartments
Hananui Lodge and Apartments
3 out of 5
4 York Street, Russell
Hananui Lodge and Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.