We started our New Zealand camper van adventure on the North Island (Auckland to be exact). We hadn’t planned on going up the coast into Northland, but we were convinced by our van rental agent that we should. Our two day side adventure turned into four, and we found ourselves falling in love with the gorgeous landscapes. Also, can I say the Bay of Islands is one of the most gorgeous stretches of land on the North Island? We will most definitely be heading up that way next summer to enjoy some sand, sun, and some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever had.
The town of Russell is a mere ferry boat ride from Paihai, and is jam packed with things to do. Granted, we visited during low season and 85% of all activities were closed for the winter, but we still were able to make an entire day out of our visit. Russell holds historical significance as it was the first European settlement in New Zealand, as well as the country’s first sea port.
In the summer you can add paddle-boarding, kayaking, fishing and jet boating to your list of things to do; basically all the fun-in-the-sun activities you could possibly imagine.
We started our journey over to Russell first thing in the morning , via a windy 10 minute ferry ride from Paihai. Immediately upon docking we were greeted by quaint european-style shops, hotels, and restaurants. I immediately fell in love with the old town ‘feel,’ and the fact that not a single person seemed to be rushed to get anywhere.
If the historical significance, gorgeous location, and overall feel of the town don’t convince you to visit, you’ll at least have to go to order the fish and chips at Sally’s! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.