Curriculum Aligned Learning

Russell Kororāreka  plays a significant role in the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. Īpipiri is a place of first Māori arrivals from Polynesia, it is where one of the first encounters between Māori and Europeans took place and Kororāreka is where the first Māori wars started.

The town of Kororāreka Russell is a must visit location to understand our country’s history, and natural history prior to the arrival of humans to Aotearoa, and our impact on the environment. Delve into curriculum-aligned learning facilitated by museum staff and bring students out of the classroom with self-guided immersive, interactive, and object-based learning experiences. The Russell Museum through its exhibitions and learning resources has natural connections to the Learning Areas of Social Sciences, Science, the Arts, Technology, and in 2023 History.

An excursion to the Russell Museum will spark curiosity, develop understanding of Kororāreka Russell and Īpipiri Eastern Bay of Islands’ contribution to New Zealand’s nationally and internationally significant history, and how it has shaped our country’s identity.

Topics the Russell Museum documents via its exhibitions, research, and programmes mapped with each Learning Area identified includes:    

  • Social Sciences : Kororāreka Russell and Īpipiri was at the epicentre of New Zealand’s human migration, firstly by Polynesians, followed by European explorers, first encounters between Māori and Europeans; and international migrants; New Zealand’s first town; Treaty of Waitangi; and first Capital – Old Russell; Hone Heke and the Northern War; the Girls’ War; and many more stories 
  • Sciences :  New Zealand is the last country to be inhabited, making it unique in studying humans impact on the environment. Also conversely, repairing the years of impact through a number of environmental regeneration programs in the Russell, Īpipiri region. 
  • The Arts : Art as document in recording early history of the Bay of Islands, prior to the advent of photography. The craftsmanship of Māori material culture, and its cultural significance.  The Pauline Yearbury collection interpreting Māori folklore. 
  • Technology :  Celestial navigation, vessel and sailing technology.  


Book your visit

To book your group visit to the Russell Museum, download form, complete with your details and email If you are organising multiple activities and would like your itinerary planned, you can contact the Bay of Islands Education Network (BOIEN) who can plan your whole excursion itinerary, including museum visits, accommodation and catering.

Download a booking form


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

Call Us

(+64) 9 403 7701

Opening hours

10.00 - 4.00 daily
Last visitors admitted at 3.45 pm