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.