Christ Church In Russell (Kororāreka)

Christ Church in Russull (Kororāreka) – Buy 

The church on the corner of Church, Robertson and Baker Street in Russell (Kororāreka) was one of the places I wanted to visit while staying in the small town. Not only is it New Zealand’s oldest surviving church however it contains the grave sites of important Māori leaders Tamati Waka Nene, Hannah King and many other names linked to New Zealand’s history. It also has the graves of men from the HMS Hazard who died in the battle of Kororāreka which took place March 1845. What makes the church even more interesting is that as it was at the centre of the conflict between Māori and the British Army, there are bullet holes scattered around the church that remain to this very day. 

The Duke of Marlborough

The Duke of Marlborough Buy 

Russell or Kororareka as it was once known, had the reputation of being the ‘hell hole of the Pacific.’ This was mainly due to the drinking, brawling, prostitution and general  lawlessness of the town. As the port grew to be one of the biggest whaling ports in the Southern Hemisphere, so too did the town’s reputation for unruly disorder.

One of the early drinking establishments was known as “Johnny Johnstons Grog Shop”. The owner being Johnny Johnston, an ex-convict. In the late 1820’s, Johnson purchased land which he turned into a hotel and to give the place a touch of class he named it after the richest man in the world, the Duke of Marlborough. Today, The Duke of Marlborough sits elegantly on the waterfront in Russell and holds the distinction of being New Zealand’s oldest licenced hotel.

Russell & The Bay Of Islands

Russell & The Bay Of Islands – Buy

The glorious Bay of Island. It’s not hard to see why sailors stopped off here after a long sea voyage, especially in the summer months. The weather is hot, the water is warm and time seems to stand hill. On my last day there I hiked up the hill path to the lookout where the flag pole stands. From there you get an outstanding view of Russell, all the surroundings bays and across the bay to the Treaty Grounds.

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