Russell Museum Whare Taonga o Kororāreka

Sharing the culture and stories of Kororāreka Russell
and Īpipiri Bay of Islands with the world

Māori history:

Īpipiri is the Māori name for the Eastern Bay of Islands. Take a look at  our collection of Māori artefacts and explore our digital interactive mapping table which explains the history of the Bay and tells the stories of first contact between Māori and the crew of the HM Bark Endeavour.

Endeavour and early explorers

Lt James Cook gave the Bay of Islands its English name when he visited in 1769. He anchored off Motuarohia just around the Kororāreka headland with a crew of scientists, botanists and Tupaia a High Priest navigator from Polynesia. Impressed with what he found, he put the Bay of Islands on the map on his return to England.

Latest happenings

Find out about the latest happenings and information from the Museum.
The Search for the Whangamumu Whaling Film

The Search for the Whangamumu Whaling Film

Sunday 11 September Russell Boat Club Matauwhi Bay, Russell 4.00 pm Entrance by Koha for preservation of Russell Kororāreka's whaling history. On Sunday 11 September, Lindsay Alexander, a published whaling historian,  will tell the story of the Whangamumu whaling...

School Holiday Discovery Fun Day

School Holiday Discovery Fun Day

Join the Russell Museum Whare Taonga o Kororāreka for a family event. This Easter school holidays, we're having a Discovery Fun Day. Bring the kids come along to on the morning of Tuesday 19 April and join us for a fun day. There will be plenty of things to do,...

The Story of Managahāwea

The Story of Managahāwea

Russell Museum’s new exhibition, The Story of Managahāwea is a fascinating look at an extremely early site of first arrivals from Polynesia. Beneath the soil of its beautiful beachfront, archaeological evidence from a series of excavations under the...

Saltwater in our Veins

Saltwater in our Veins

Ko Ahau Anō Tētahi i Reira, Saltwater in our Veins is another Russell Museum to Tuia 250, the national commemoration taking place in October 2019. Scrimshaw trophy on loan from Russell Boating Club An ambitious new exhibition charting the Bay’s long and...

What our visitors say

The museum provides good background on Russell, and the importance of it in the formation of New Zealand as a country. Information and interpretation is easy to understand and relevant.
- Erica H, TripAdvisor

Contact us

Enquiry from website


2 York Street,
Russell Kororāreka
Bay of Islands
Aotearoa New Zealand

Call Us

09 403 7701
(+64) 9 403 7701

Opening hours

10.00 - 4.00 daily
Last visitors admitted at 3.45 pm