Russell is truly a wonderful place…we are blessed with some of the best weather in the country, which means spring, summer, autumn and winter are all great times to enjoy Russell. During your visit here you will undoubtedly see, smell, touch, taste and experience many new and exciting delights. Russell is known for its Pohutukawa lined foreshore, with lots of places to sit and eat great food and watch the kids play on the safe beach – where else but Russell? All that of course after a hard day’s walk!


There is a great variety of accommodation in Russell, from waterfront hotels, to family-style motels, holiday homes and campgrounds and cabins.


There are more activities to indulge yourself in in Russell than most parts of the country. While you are here you could check out: Russell Mini Tours, Barefoot Adventure Yacht Charters, And Island Getaway Cruise, Historic sites such as Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Pompallier House, the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail, the many vineyards.

Getting to Russell

BY CAR – The State Highway

The most direct route is to take State Highway 1 from Auckland. About 45 minutes north of Whangarei at Kawakawa take SH11 to Opua, Paihia and Russell (via vehicle ferry). At the top of the hill leading to Opua, turn right and head down to the vehicle ferry which operates a continuous service during the day and a reduced service at night. Bookings are not required and you pay on board.

Please see below for more information on the car ferry. On the other side (called Okiato) keep following the main road for approximately 7km to Russell.

Approx 3.5 hours from Auckland.


Depart from Opua to Russell. It is 8km drive from the car ferry to Russell township.

Tickets: Purchased on board, onboard EFTPOS and credit card facilities are available

View the timetable here.


There are a number of operators who run coaches from downtown Auckland to downtown Paihia. Once in Paihia, head for the wharf, which is only 100m away from the coach terminal, and catch one of the regular passenger ferries to Russell.


The closest airport to Russell is Kerikeri Bay of Islands, a 45-minute flight from Auckland. From the airport, it is approximately 45 minutes by road and ferry to Russell.

Russell Information and Booking Centre

Local Information Centre to help with your bookings and queries – visit their website here.