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This charming town is the perfect base for exploring the Bay of Islands.

Russell holds an important place in New Zealand's history, being the country's first seaport, its first European settlement and New Zealand's first capital in nearby Okiato. The town's streets retain their original layout and names from 1843, and many of its historic buildings can still be visited today.

Wine & Dine

Omata Estate

Omata Estate is a boutique vineyard on a sunny peninsula 8km out of Russell, in the
Bay of Islands. The vines grow on north facing slopes overlooking the ocean. The Omata Kitchen is a relaxed style eatery serving gourmet platters and wood-fired pizzas. They strive to source items locally and menus change often. They are a perfect location for a special private function. Go and visit them today and enjoy their wines overlooking one of the best views in the
bay of islands

Sage Paroa Bay Restaurant

Perched high above the idyllic Bay of Islands, it is the Moana (ocean) and Whenua (land) who inform and inspire their menu. From the end of the fishing line cast into the sea to the orchard doors of their suppliers and their very own onsite gardens, their focus is on locally grown and sourced ingredients which combine seamlessly into a uniquely creative brand of New Zealand cuisine.

Bay of Islands Swordfish Club

The Bay of Islands Swordfish Club is the oldest game fishing club in New Zealand with a history dating back to 1910. The rich history of game fishing in the Bay of Islands can be traced on the walls of both clubhouses. Exhibits of historic fishing photographs, tackle and memorabilia provides an interesting viewing for both anglers and anyone interested in local history – from the original catch boards from the 1920s where the name of Zane Grey can be found to the most recent “Grander” (1000lb plus). With outstanding views over the Bay and extensive photo displays and historic fishing memorabilia.


Butterfish Restaurant & Cafe right on Russell’s waterfront. Offering Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (Summer Only). Choose from cabinet food or something off their yummy asian/kiwi inspired menu. Relaxed atmosphere and great for families, couples and tourists.

The Gables Restaurant

The Gables is New Zealand’s oldest operating restaurant, built from pit-sawn Kauri in 1847 on whalebone foundations (look out for the whale vertebrae on display in the dining hall). Fine food with a relaxed atmosphere is the order today for the 1847 landmark on the picturesque Russell Waterfront. Catering for Lunch and Dinner.

French Cafe @ Pompallier

Take a break with a Bishop's Brew coffee in their petite French Cafe and enjoy the
views over the gardens and harbour. Other light refreshments are available including cold drinks, ice creams, and morning/afternoon teas.


Situated on the waterfront of Russell overlooking the wharf, Seaside is a modern eatery available for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Relaxed, family friendly atmosphere great for all occasions.

Hone’s Garden

Want amazing craft beer, and amazing pizza in an amazing garden setting? Then
Hone’s Garden is the place to go. The friendly team and yummy food will have you going back for more.


Specializing in Thai and Indian cuisine, Greens is a great option for ethnic food and they also have takeaway options if you wish to enjoy your meal in your room.


Oso is the newest little cafe in the picturesque town of Russell, where they offer a wide selection of cakes, slices, breakfast meals or just a grab an espresso to go.
Their main ingredient is Love and their service comes with a smile.

RSA - Diggers Restaurant

All visitors are welcome to The Diggers Restaurant at the Russell’s RSA. Basic family friendly food at reasonable prices.

On the Sea

It wouldn’t be a holiday in the Bay of Islands if you didn’t get out on the water. There are many different options to get on the water to suit your budget, style, and needs. Here are the top ones we recommend.

Hananui Fishing Charters

Come on out with John (a previous Hananui Lodge manager), our skipper who is born and bred Russell so knows these waters like the back of his hand. Whether you want to catch Snapper for dinner or a big Kingi for those Instagram likes, John is your guy.

Hananui Kayaks

Want to explore our own front yard - Kororareka Bay (Russell’s Waterfront)? Then we have kayaks free for our guests to hire from Reception.

Phantom Yacht Sailing

With over 20 years experience, Rick and Robin invite you aboard to experience some of
the best sailing Bay of Islands has to offer. Only taking 10 people per trip, you will escape the crowds and have fun doing it. You get to stop off on an island for a walk,
swim or relax while on board a homemade lunch is being prepared for you. We cannot
recommend this tour enough and think it is the best way to see the islands.

Otehei Bay

Fancy being on one of the most beautiful islands in New Zealand? With Explore ferries departing daily from Russell wharf, you can spend the day exploring the island via the walking tracks, or hire a kayak or SUP and paddle your way around the island. Or you can take your book, pull up a beanbag and enjoy a lunch at the on-site restaurant.

R Tucker Thompson

A day sailing trip on the R.Tucker Thompson is one of the few opportunities to go sailing on a working tall ship, in one of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of New Zealand, the Bay of Islands.

Hole in the Rock & Dolphin Watching Tours

Got the Hole in the Rock on your bucket list to tick off? Let Fullers Great Sights take care of you. Do the full day trip or half day trip depending on your time and love of the water. Fullers also include marine life watching during their tours. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals, whales, and Russell’s very own Blue Penguin.

Flying Kiwi Parasail

Fancy seeing the Bay of Islands like you never have before? Try out Flying Kiwi Parasail, who offer the unique view of being 13,000 feet above the boat. This is something that you won’t ever regret doing.

On the Land


Fancy a game of tennis? Hananui has all the equipment and membership to the local tennis club. See Reception about booking a time.

Rogue Pony Tours

Let Tui and Mark show you their favourite hidden gems around Northland. From wineries to forest and everything in between. Pick from their Mustang or 4x4 Highlander. Tui offers jewellery making workshops too.

Russell Mini Tours

Want to explore Russell and get some history and knowledge by local drivers? Russell Mini Tours offer 1 hour bus tours leaving from Cass St.

Pompallier Mission

So much history, so little time! Pompallier offers guided tours through the house which goes into detail about the history of Pompallier. You can also explore the gardens and have a cuppa at the French cafe

Russell Museum

Being one of the first settlements in New Zealand, there is so much history in Russell and the museum does a great job of capturing it. There is also a 1/8th scale replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavour.

Christ Church

The oldest church in New Zealand is right on our back door step. Take a wander through
the church and its grounds, and look out for the bullet holes still in the walls from the
Battle of Kororareka.

Flowing Wellness

Everyone can do with a relaxing massage while on holiday. Heike at Flowing Wellness over at Long Beach has the magic hands to have you walking out with jelly legs. See Reception for Heike’s contact information.

Cape Reinga

Take the stress out of the road trip and book a bus tour to Cape Reinga. Catering for small groups, Bay of Islands Tours are the best way to see the Cape. With stops along the way and the famous sandboarding and Mangonui Fish & Chips, you can’t go wrong with this trip.

Walks & Rides

What better way to see a town than on foot! We love our walking and it is so much easier to do when you get the views that these walks offer.


A quick round trip walk of approx 45 mintues. Starting from the Lodge and walking up to Wellington St to the Flagstaff is a mix of steep street and stairs. Once you are done huffing and puffing have a look around across the whole of the bay. Also take a right once up at the car park and check out the sundial

Tapeka (Jim’s Track)

If you want to extend the walk from Flagstaff then take a right and you can continue on
to Tapeka. This track from the Lodge and back would be about 1 ½ hours depending on
your fitness level.

Long Beach

The easiest walk in Russell (only 1 hill each way), the walk to Long Beach (Oneroa Bay)
is for you. About 25 mins one way. During the summer there is Carl’s Coffee Cart to help get you home.

Long Beach Lookout (92 Florence Ave)

Russell’s newest track with spectacular views over both Russell and Long Beach this is a challenging inclined track but well worth the views.

Russell to Paihia

If you have a spare 8 hours then the walk from Russell down to Okaito across the car ferry then from Opua to Paihia finishing with the ferry from Pahia to Russell is a good way to spend a day.

Urupukapuka (Otehei Bay)

Catch the ferry out to the island and tackle some of the many walks around the island.

Get on your bike!

If biking more to your taste then you have to check out these tracks. We have a secure garage which you can use during your stay to store your bike.
Waitangi Mountain Bike Park
It offers 30 trails of varying difficulty with great flow and features, from introductory
downhill riding, jump trails, cross country and beginner trails.

Twin Coast Trail

87 kms from the stunning Bay of Islands to the tranquil Hokianga Harbour. With 4
sections, it can be ridden in either direction. Stunning scenery with magnificent views,
and a fascinating journey through NZ’s earliest Maori & European settlements.

Contact Info

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