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Russell, formerly known as Kororāreka, was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. It is situated in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the North Island. As at the 2006 New Zealand census it had a resident population of 816, an increase of 12 from 2001.
When European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s, the indigenous Māori quickly recognised there were great advantages in trading with these strangers, whom they called tauiwi.[2] The Bay of Islands offered a safe anchorage and had a large Māori population. To attract ships, Māori began to supply food and timber. What Māori wanted was respect, plus firearms, alcohol, and other goods of European manufacture.

Kororāreka developed as a result of this trade but soon earned a very bad reputation, a community without laws and full of prostitution, and became known as the "Hell Hole of the Pacific", despite the translation of its name being "How sweet is the penguin" (kororā meaning blue penguin and reka meaning sweet). European law had no influence and Māori law was seldom enforced within the town's area. Fighting on the beach at Kororāreka in March 1830, between northern and southern hapū within the Ngāpuhi iwi, became known as the Girls’ War.

Russell is now mostly a "bastion of cafés, gift shops and B&Bs". Pompallier Mission, the historic printery/tannery/storehouse of the early Roman Catholic missionaries, can also boast to be the oldest surviving industrial building in New Zealand, while the town also holds Christ Church, the country's oldest surviving Anglican church. The surrounding area also contains many expensive holiday homes.

We went to Russell by ferry from Paihia. It was very pleasant afternoon trip.

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Sunset

The beach


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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9976 W: 144 N: 24990] (122139)
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