"Russell Museum - Te Whare Taonga o Kororareka"

Telling the stories of Ipipiri Bay of Islands

Whaling

Because of good reports from early European visitors, Russell became a popular base for visiting Pacific whalers who needed a base to pick up supplies, get repairs done, and give their men shore time.

For nearly a hundred years whalers, particularly American, visited the port. Kororareka changed to accommodate their needs with waterfront grog shops and brothels a feature. It earned the nickname Hell-hole of the Pacific.

Museum history

This important landmark in the Russell village arose from plans to mark the New Zealand Centennial year of 1940. The vision was a building to house a Town Council office, library, restroom and a museum.

Land was given by Charles Frederick and Mary Ann Baker, and a building was erected in 1954. Two years later a small museum room was ready for visitors. It was a long room about 10 metres by 5 metres. Originally, the museum was called the Russell Centennial Museum from 1956-1970.

Shop

The Museum shop features a wide range of unique unusual gifts.  Items include books, bone carvings, scrimshaw, greenstone (pounamu) and paua jewelry as well as cards and paintings.  It is a great place to get a gift, birthday presents or a souvenir of your visit to the Bay of Islands.

Multi Media Bar

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Paradise Lost

Russell Museum is presently preparing itself for the gala opening of a prestigious...

Russell School Reunion ~ celebrating 175 years of education in Russell 1839 – 2014

Russell Museum latest exhibition follows on from the Russell School Reunion held over...

Whakaata – Contemporary Maori Art Prints

Whakaata looks to show a connection to a Maori print history.  It acknowledges this...

Bye-bye Big Tree

Big Tree – it’s an advertisement for benzine. You can only just make out the...

Someone to Buttonhole

Russell Town Council 1956-9 Original photo © Russell Museum This photo shows the members...

The High Place

Original photo © Russell Museum Leo White’s Singer car on Maiki hill in 1930. This...

Summer by the Sea

Original photo © Russell Museum Phyllis Boucher congratulates Charlie Baker Long hot...

Summer Bounty

Original photo © Russell Museum Percy Kydd with delicious bounty Here is Percy Kydd with...

Subdivision

B&W photo postcard by Montagu. Russell no. R141. C. 1920s. From the earliest time...

Russell Wharf

Clansman at Russell Wharf c1890 Original photo © Russell Museum Today, as in the past,...