The historic town of Russell was once known as the ‘Hell hole of the Pacific!’ Today it is known for its charming wharf and waterside, its quaint museum and Pompallier historic house, church and one of New Zealand’s oldest pubs – the Duke of Marlborough. There are some nice walks to Flagstaff Hill, Topeka lookout or to the lovely swimming beach at Long Bay. From Russell you can get a ferry to Paihia or a boat trip to explore the islands, see the famous hole in the rock and go dolphin watching.
For more information, visit www.russellnz.co.nz
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
A visit to New Zealand is not complete without a trip to Waitangi where the famous treaty was signed in 1840 between the native Māori people of Aotearoa and the Pakeha (white settlers) in the name of Queen Victoria of England. Take a guided tour of the grounds and learn the country’s history, visit the home of James Busby, the first British resident and take part in an official welcome on a marae (meeting house).
For more information, visit www.waitangi.org.nz
The heart of the fruit growing area of the north, try the local produce or buy crafts and gifts at the Packhouse Markets on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Nearby are two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings, the Stone Store and the Kemp House, founded by Anglican missionaries to the area in 1819. Rewa’s village will take you back in time to before European settlement and you can also visit the site of a native pa site, or walk to Rainbow Falls.