We left Tutukaka and headed north to the Bay of Islands, an area important in the early European history of New Zealand. Most visitors approach the area using the main highway and arrive at Paihia. So have I on all previous visits. This time, we followed a different route that included a short ferry ride and woukd up across the bay in Russell.
Russell was once one of the two busiest whaling ports in the world. It earned the name Hell on Earth because of the sorts of activities crews of whaling boats enjoyed while on shore leave. Today, tiny Russell is given over to tourists interested in water sports, easy hiking, and relaxation.
This is generally considered the oldest church in the country. The graveyard contains a mix of important Maori and Europeans .
A view of Russell from Flagstaff Hill.