Russell Beach is the hub of the town and a popular place to swim, relax and fish. Stroll along the main beach, which is also known as Kororareka, and survey the restaurants, cafés and lodges that line the adjoining walkway.
Amble along the small wooden jetty and stop by the Russell Booking and Information Centre to enquire about various water-based activities. Embark on a big game fishing charter and haul in snapper and other scaly species. Book private boat charters and cruises, an excellent way to observe local marine life, such as dolphins, whales, penguins and seabirds.
Rent a sail catamaran or motorboat to explore the surrounding Bay of Islands. Sailing, fishing and dolphin-viewing excursions are all available here too. For something more active, take a small rowboat into Kororareka Bay or rent a bicycle and pedal along nearby cycling paths. Small shops selling artisan chocolates, handicrafts and souvenirs line the shoreline, making Russell’s main beach great for shopping.
Stay on the beach until evening to watch the sun set from the shore. Some of the nearby restaurants and bars make prime sunset viewing spots. Enjoy the vista while dining on freshly caught seafood accompanied by New Zealand wines.
For a more secluded beach atmosphere, venture over to Long Beach, which is located about 2 kilometres (1 mile) away. This golden stretch features fine sand and calm turquoise water.
From the town’s main beach, many of Russell’s top attractions are less than 5 minutes away on foot, including Christ Church. This church was built by missionaries in the mid-19th century and is one of New Zealand’s oldest surviving and fully operational churches. The historic building has been extensively restored and is now registered with Heritage New Zealand.
Russell Beach is in the heart of Russell in the Bay of Islands, about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from Auckland. Stay in historic hotels, lodges and self-catered apartments near Russell Beach or find alternative accommodations in the centre of town.