Russell is ideal for low impact activities, situated in the geographic centre of the Bay of Islands it offers a wonderful range of kayaking, biking, swimming and walking opportunities.
You can kayak to an island in an hour or so and walk to another island in low tide for wide views over the Bay. You can swim with dolphins or go on a kiwi trail.
Free tour booking and information service at our park reception
We can save time and hassle by organising and booking your Bay of Islands tours and activities for you!
Our knowledgeable team can also provide recommendations should you need them. Complimentary for all Holiday Park guests.
Plant a Tree
When you stay with us you can plant a native tree. It’s an opportunity to help us restore and support toitū toirua (regeneration) of our park. And it may also contribute to reducing your carbon footprint.
You’ll pay $40 per tree and all profits from the sale of the trees go to Project Island Song – a wildlife sanctuary in the Bay of Islands. Project Island Song have successfully ensured that the seven main islands of Ipipiri, in the eastern Bay of Islands, have been pest mammal free since 2009, allowing the natural eco-systems to be restored.
The Russell peninsula has a number of lovely little coves, bays and beaches. Oneroa (Long) Beach is popular – about 3 km from the Park.
Pipiroa Bay – also about the same distance from the Park – is tidal and very safe for toddlers and young children and the start of the walkway to Russell Village.
Tapeka Beach – a gorgeous sandy swimming beach.
Elliot Bay – a surfing beach worth a visit. Approx 30 min drive from Russell.
Oke Bay – Off the beaten track and perfect for watching the sunset. Approx 40 minute drive.
The Park has a swimming pool, so it’s is the perfect spot to cool off and enjoy the sunshine without leaving the park.
Orongo Bay is fringed by mangroves – with a board walk through them- so is not a swimming beach.
Walking is a mans best medicine
The picturesque town of Russell and the surrounding area is the perfect place to take a walk and there are a number of scenic walks you can do. Or you can visit during the official Bay of Islands walking weekend and enjoy guided walks.
Here are some walks we recommend close to the Holiday Park:
Kiwi trail – Explore our Kiwi trail, cut within acres of native bush at the rear of our holiday 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.
Boardwalk (Time: 20mins) – Looking across from the holiday park towards Orongo Bay is a neat little boardwalk. Turn left out of the park and cross over the road, follow the gravel walkway down to the boardwalk. You can complete a full circle returning to the park from the other side of the boardwalk.
Walking to Russell village (Time: 55mins) – Turn right out of the Park. Walk around the bend and get on to the path on the left of the road. The walkway crosses the road and passes through wetlands and then turns down into Florance Avenue into Russell village.
Full Circle Day Walk (Time 5-6 hours) – A 17km walk consisting of two distinct sections Paihia to Opua and Okiato to Russell with a ferry ride between Opua to Okiato. The scenery is stunning from beach and mangroves to dense bush and hilly terrain.
Cape Brett Walk
A challenging but spectacular walk along the length of Cape Brett. From native forest to dramatic cliff tops it’s rich in Māori history.
We’ve put together this ‘need to know’ guide as described by one of our fabulous guests and her friends who did the walk recently. Thank you Caitlin Houghton!
Twin Coast Cycle Trail Pou Herenga Tai – One of New Zealand’s 18 Great Rides. The trail is 87 km and takes you through some stunning scenery and some early NZ settlements. More information about the Twin Coast Cycle Trail
Waitangi Mountain Bike Park – offers a network of approximately 20 different trails with varying difficulties to suit all ages and abilities. More information about Waitangi Mountain Bike Park
Urupukapuka Island – Make a day trip via a short ferry trip and explore the stunning Urupukapuka Island. There are gorgeous beaches, a cafe, many beautiful walks and archaeological sites to see or you can hire a kayak and discover the island from the water.
On the water – The Bay of Islands is known for its calm waters protected from the weather by 144 islands making its varied coastline ideal to explore by kayak, paddle board or jet ski, the choice is yours. Caves, lagoons, islands, deserted beaches and coves make this a stunning slice of paradise just waiting to be explored!
Horse trekking – Explore the picturesque bay of islands on horseback.
Kawiti Caves and Glowworms – Explore the magical Kawiti Caves and Glowworms. Approx 30 min drive from Russell.
Glowworms – Titiwai in Russell – Visit the secret location of glowworms in Russell township. It’s magical and totally free! We’ve put together this ‘need to know’ guide with all the details.