We are passionate about all students having an equal opportunity to see and touch the topics they are learning about, challenging themselves, exploring, learning and thriving in the spacious and natural environment we offer.    We welcome and encourage all backgrounds, cultures and beliefs.  We aim to provide your school group with a memorable, educational and fun experience outside the classroom.

We work closely with you to provide personalised itineraries that fit within your constrained budgets and in line with curriculum requirements, incorporating social sciences, history, geography, people and places.

Our holiday park is situated in picturesque location surrounded by 14 acres of native bush that makes learning easy, and only a short trip to Russell and Waitangi both rich in New Zealand history & culture.

We offer Māori cultural education activities to our visiting schools and previously they have learned the art of hāngi, planted trees, sung waiata and heard Māori legends around our fire pit.

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 and encourages the birdlife and native trees to flourish.
The students love experiencing the free range chickens, and other friendly ducks and birdlife.   It is heart warming, and an honour, to listen to students’ reflections around the fire pit at the end of their stay, to hear their experience and to see how much they have grown.

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.

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 open out onto large deck. Dedicated use of male and female bathrooms 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 is also available. 

When you book with us you can avoid losing your money if there is a COVID lockdown.
We understand how stressful lockdown 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).

With prior arrangement we can provide for your cooking, cutlery and crockery requirements or catering options. 

We can also assist with lots of ideas, draft itineraries  and obtaining student group discounts for Bay of Island’s activities including the ferries, the R Tucker -Thompson tall ship, Hole in the Rock, viewing Dolphins and the Pompallier Mission and Printery and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
View our sample itineraries for some ideas including our two day itinerary for $200pp.

Talk to us

Talk to us about your upcoming school trip requirements and we will work out a package to suit your needs & budget. 


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 trailcut 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! But 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 bans), 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 surrounds 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 
  • Visit the weta cave 
  • Waking up to the sounds of 155 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 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. 
  • 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) 
  • stroll on the boardwalk around the mangrove fringed Orongo Bay and walkway to Russell village from the Park. 
  • Passing 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. 
  • The Pompallier – New Zealands earliest industrial building a print house and tannery. Set up by the French Catholic missionaries – who preceeded the English.  They are geared up for school trips and students to get involved with printing using pre Industrial Revolution printing presses. A fascinating and well presented story. 
  • Russell Museum 
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds to learn all about the Treaty of Waitangi a fun and invigorating tour ending with an exhilarating cultural show and a hangi.  A short ferry trip from Russell to Waitangi. 
  • Heritage Sites to visit in the area include Marsden Cross, Stone Store, Kemp House and Kororipo Pa, Te Waimate Mission and Okuratope . 
  • A ride on the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway – the very first railway in the North Island, boasting the longest wooden curved bridge in the Southern Hemisphere. 
  • 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.

and much much more!