Bay of Islands, Russell, New Zealand – Russell Museum


Published: December 13th 2023

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Abel Tasman

Tour Day 53, Bay of Islands, Russell, New Zealand Day 6, Friday, December 1, 2023 (The first day of Summer in Oceana) – Paul’s plan was to take the Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Tour on Friday and return to Auckland on Saturday; however, the tour providers didn’t consult him when they cancelled the Friday tour for lack of enthusiasm (only four people had signed up). Plan B was to visit the Russell Museum which shares the stories of Kororāreka (Russell) and Īpipiri (Bay of Islands). It tells the stories of the first Polynesian arrivals in the Bay, through to the development of Kororāreka (Russell), from a small Māori fishing village, to a port of call for visiting ships and whalers to today’s tourist town. Although first discovered by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman (Tasman Sea, Tasmania, Tasmanian Devil), 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. Among the museum collections

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Lt James Cook

is Māori taonga including a small waka (canoe), a one-fifth scale model of Captain Cook’s Endeavour, an original whaleboat and mementos of game fisherman, Zane Grey.


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