Things to do in
Russell

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Our most recommended things to do in Russell

From Paihia or Russell: Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

1. From Paihia or Russell: Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

Board your vessel in Paihia or Russell and glide out through the islands. Cruise along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse watches over the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’.  The natural sculpture, one of New Zealand's most popular attractions, was created from centuries of sea and wind erosion. According to Maori legend, local warriors paddled through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof were a good omen. Take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before heading back into the bay. Keep an eye out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales, and other marine life.  Cruise in comfort aboard the Dolphin Seeker with indoor and outdoor seating and the Bay of Island's largest outdoor viewing decks. Treat yourself to snacks and a licensed bar on board, or enjoy the Otehei Bar Café and Bar on Urupukapuka Island.

Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

2. Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

Set off on a scenic 4.5 to 5-hour cruise to discover the very best of the Bay of Islands. Experience the spectacular scenery and encounter diverse wildlife in an area soaked in rich culture and history. Board the black and yellow power cat at Paihia Wharf and be welcomed aboard by the friendly crew. Your crew will deliver a full safety briefing and overview of the trip. Cruise among the 144 islands and enjoy entertaining live commentary from your local knowledgeable skipper. Visit the iconic Hole in the Rock and when conditions permit, you can even travel through it. Spot local wildlife including dolphins, birds, seals and even the occasional whale with a success rate of over 90%. Your trip will also include a 1.5-hour island stop at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Enjoy free time to explore the island. If you wish, you can hire kayaks, or paddleboards (available during summer only) or just relax on the beach. You can also choose to extend your stay on the island and return on a later ferry (only available during summer).

3 Hour - Hole in the Rock Cruise with Island Stopover

3. 3 Hour - Hole in the Rock Cruise with Island Stopover

Departing from Paihia or Russell, join us on a small group cruise through the Bay of Islands. Keep an eye out for Marine Wildlife as we cruise along the coastline making our way out into the islands. Listen to commentary from your tour guide as they relay the history of the area, and visit the landing site of Captain James Cook on Roberton Island. Experience Cathedral Cave on Motukokako Island and the Hole in the Rock - if weather permits, we will even CRUISE THROUGH the Hole in the Rock! Take in the scenery of the stunning Cape Brett Peninsular and Lighthouse Enjoy a stopover on one of the 144 Remote Islands in the Bay of Islands, take a short walk to one of the island lookout points, and help feed the schools of fish in the Voluntary Marine Reserve.

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What people are saying about Russell

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 326 reviews

Really cool trip didn’t get to go through the hole because the water was too rough but got to see it and also saw dolphins. The stop over on the island was cool however there food was lacking in offerings. As I’m pregnant there was a lot of seafood options which were a no no or deep fried / Sandwhich options which sadly were also risky. However everything else made it awesome so would recommend over all.

I absolutely recommend this tour. The whole tour is just beautiful. The Bay of Islands should be seen by boat as you get to see the islands around plus you get to stop in one of them to enjoy drinks or swimming. All the staff were nice and made us have a great time. We loved passing through the hole in the rock and Seeing dolphins was the highlight. We really enjoyed this tour.

On a day with a decent swell in the Pacific, the crew did well to get out to the Hole in the Rock and through it - great feeling! The islands, even on a windy day, were gorgeous. And when you meet a pod of bottle nose dolphins 10 min from the end, rubbing up against the boat and jumping for sheer joy, you know you’ve had a fantastic trip!

My experience was the hole in the rock and dolphins was awsum if I can do it again I’ll will this time with my mokoz they would love it

Andy was a real comedian. Girls were on top of everything.