We are passionate about all students having an equal opportunity to see and touch the topics they are learning about, to get out of their comfort zone and expand their minds regardless of background, culture or beliefs.
It is heart warming (and sometimes tear jerking!) listening to the students’ growth and reflections around our fire pit at the end of a stay.
We aim to provide your school group with a comfortable stay, as well as a memorable, educational and fun experience outside the classroom.
Free Itinerary Planning
We make planning easy for you with just one point of contact to organise your whole trip. Our team will work closely with you to provide a personalised itinerary that meets your budget and curriculum requirements.
We work with all local businesses and our community to obtain the best prices for all the Bay of Islands (and wider Northland) activities including Waitangi Treaty Grounds, R Tucker -Thompson tall ship, Explore – cruises to the Hole in the Rock, Pompallier Mission and Printery, Kororāreka Museum , and many more.
View some recent itineraries for some ideas.
Our holiday park is situated in a picturesque location surrounded by 14 acres of native bush and a gateway to the Bay of Islands. We are only a short trip to Russell & Waitangi both rich in New Zealand history & culture.
Our location offers over 50 activities that are rich in content for your school’s curriculum requirements, covering a range of educational areas including Social Sciences, History, People and Places. Ask us for a copy of our activities booklet – email@example.com
History – We are centrally located to Waitangi Treaty Grounds & Museums, Heritage tours – Pompallier Mission, Kerikeri Stone Store & Kemp House, Rewa’s Village, Te Ahurea, Russell Museum, Christ Church, Kororāreka Marae, the site of the first Capital, Flagstaff hill and much much more.
Enrich your History Curriculum with our 3 day, 2 night accommodation and history activity package for $199 per student. See full itinerary and details here.
Cultural – We have incorporated a Te Ao Māori approach to a number of unique cultural education activities that we offer at the park. The Tikanga Māori values of Kaitiakitanga, Manaakitanga and Whanaungatanga are entwined in these activities for schools they include: The Art of Hāngī, Raranga, Rongoā, Fire Pit Experience – Waiata & Narratives, and Kiwi Tours.
Nature & Environmental based – Students can explore our Kiwi trail looking for Kiwi (and may be lucky enough to see one in the wild). We teach the students about our 14 acres of native flora and fauna including the 55 species of birdlife, as well as the pest control work we undertake that enabled us to win a Predator Free award in 2019 & 2021, a TIA Sustainable Tourism award in 2022, and encourages the birdlife and native trees to flourish.
Affordable Accommodation options
Enjoy exclusive use of the Lodge offering 12 separate outward facing rooms accommodating around 70 guests at any one time. The Lodge hosts a fully equipped kitchen leading out to a lounge with large stone log fire and dining area that opens out onto a large deck. Dedicated use of male and female bathrooms are completely separate from any other guests. A marquee can also be set up alongside the Lodge (by prior arrangement) offering an extra undercover area.
- From only $22.00 per child per night
- Adults from $30.00 per night
Camping with exclusive use of facilities and reserved areas of the Park – just for your group.
- From only $12.00 per child per night
- Adults from $16.00 per night
Additional cabins and a variety of self contained accommodation are also available.
Commitment to Safety through COVID
We are committed to your safety during the uncertainty of COVID, providing you with exclusive use of the facilities you are using for your group. When you book with us you can avoid losing your money if COVID interrupts your plans. We understand how stressful COVID can be for everyone and will provide a full credit so you can re-book your school group at another time that suits you (subject to availability of course).
Talk to us
Talk to us about your upcoming school trip requirements and we will work out a package to suit your needs & budget.
With prior arrangement we can provide for your cooking, cutlery and crockery requirements or catering options.
Our experienced team are all police checked and will provide you with assistance throughout your stay. They will even provide you with a RAMS form for you to adapt for your group.
Activity ideas at the park…
There is so much to do at Russell – Orongo Bay Holiday Park for school trips you won’t want to leave!
Some activities we recommend for your school are:
- Cooling off in the Swimming Pool (October until May)
- Free time on the Playground
- Exploring our Kiwi trail, cut within acres of native bush at the rear of our Park and if you venture the trail at night you might be lucky enough to see a kiwi in the wild! You will regularly hear the distinctive call of the kiwi at night.
- An authentic camping experience sitting around the outdoor camp fire (subject to fire regulations), toasting marshmallows and star gazing
- Cooking your own meals in our wood fired pizza oven and barbecues
- Table tennis
- Exploring the 14 acres of native bush and nature walks that surround the park. Building dens or net fishing in the stream.
- Play sports and plan activities on the large grassed areas
- Learning about and seeing native flora and fauna – tree planting, conservation, predator control and bird identification
- Waking up to the sounds of over 55 species of bird, including rare Pateke, Weka and Kiwi
- Māori cultural activities onsite (by prior arrangement and subject to additional cost).
Activity ideas in Russell…
Many schools stay at Russell – Orongo Bay Holiday Park to discover New Zealand’s historic sites. The Bay of Islands was where the Māori first arrived in New Zealand and Kororāreka, Russell was the first European settlement established in New Zealand. There are so many historic sites and activities for schools including:
- The first capital site of New Zealand in Okiato en route to your accommodation in Orongo Bay, Russell.
- A stroll on the boardwalk around the mangrove fringed Orongo Bay and walkway to Russell township from the Park.
- The oldest working church in the country – Christ Church – take a look inside and spot the musket holes from the battles between the Europeans and the Maori.
- A trip along the picturesque Russell waterfront past the Duke of Marlborough (1st liquor licence in the country)
- Pass by The Gables, NZ’s oldest restaurant, built on whale bone foundations and once a hideout for stowaways, retell stories of drunken debauchery in the hellhole of the pacific.
- Pompallier Mission and Printery – New Zealands earliest industrial building – a print house and tannery. Set up by the French Catholic missionaries who preceded the English. A fascinating and well presented story and tour for all school groups.
- Kororāreka Museum
- Waitangi Treaty Grounds – Learn about the Treaty of Waitangi with a fun and invigorating tour ending with an exhilarating cultural show. A short ferry trip from Russell to Waitangi.
- Heritage Sites to visit in the area include Marsden Cross, Kerikeri Mission – Stone Store & Kemp House, Kororipo Pā, Te Waimate Mission and Okuratope Pā.
- A ride on the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway – the very first railway in the North Island, leading to the longest wooden curved bridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
- A trip out to the Hole in the Rock to spot the dolphins and maybe some Orca.
- Setting sail on an iconic Tall Ship – take a Youth Sail training voyage out on the R Tucker Thompson, operated by a not-for-profit charitable trust.
- Get involved in some conservation activities with Project Island Song, a community group who are bringing back the birdsong to the Islands through organising volunteer efforts, reintroducing species to the islands, and providing conservation education, such as floating classrooms for schools.
and much much more!
Our Playcentre absolutely loved our stay at Russell-Orongo Bay Holiday Park! The facilities and activities were perfect for our group of families, there was so much for our kids to do and so many ways for them to connect with nature. Thank you for creating such a memorable experience for our kids (and the adults too!). Thank you too for helping us to all find the right accommodation to suit our different needs and for tailoring an activity programme perfect for us. We hope to make this an annual trip!
Awesome place for a school trip. The rooms were clean and the group kitchen was well-appointed. We enjoyed the bush location and the swimming pool was great place to relax and the end of the day’s activities. We would definitely stay again.
Kids loved the chickens. Great to hear the calls of weka and kiwi. As a history spot for students it is hard to beat – will be back.
Loved the Bay, will be coming back! Accommodated our large group easily in the lodge, great staff and lovely natural setting. The pool was a nice plus!