Events in the Bay

What's On in the Bay of Islands


31, March 2018, 

Otahei Bay Family Fun Day

Otahei Bay Easter family fun. Kids activities kick off from 11.30am, so make sure you arrive before then. There’s loads of games with spot prizes to be won.


31, March 2018, 
Bay of Islands Music Festival

Copthorne at Waitangi.Serving up an amazing mix of international and New Zealand roots, soul, funk and blues this Easter!


21, 22 April 2018, 
Bay of Islands Waka Festival 

 We welcome you to a festival of Waka involving Waka Ama and traditional Waka paddlers.
This is a 2-day event, with races for all ages – sprints, short distances and a long race. The base is Waitangi Holiday Park and wakas will be launching from Te Tii Beach Waitangi Bridge end.  

11, 12, 13 May 2018
Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival

The Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival features good music and friendship in the stunning setting of the Bay of Islands of New Zealand - one of the top tourist spots of the country. Each year the festival features more than 50 acts from New Zealand and Australia performing at multiple venues. Street music and line dancing are also popular features.


2, 3 June 2018
Explore Paihia Half Marathon


 7 July 2018

Fullers Greatsights Bay of Islands BEAST

12, 13, 14, 15 July 2018

Russell Birdman Festival 

Its wild, wacky and so much fun!! This year the festival is a 4 day event as we celebrate 11 years! This festival perfect for kids and families but we have some great BIG kid stuff as well such as the Drag Race, Corflute Boat building and racing (new for adults this year!), The Birdman Jump and more!


10, 11, 12 August 2018
Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival

Held every year in Paihia, Russell, Kerikeri and Haruru Falls. See international and local bands play on the street for free! In Russell it coincides with the Classic Car Show. You buy a badge and enjoy all the jazz and blues you can handle, all weekend long.


TBC September 2018
Bay of Islands Snorkel and Scuba Race

The annual Bay of Islands Underwater Club Snorkel Scuba Race is on again. This is something for the whole family, it’s not only great fun but will also raise money for all of our local volunteer services, Russell Radio, Russell Coastguard and the Paihia Fire Service. All these people do a great job of looking after everyone when they are in the Bay of Islands on sea and land, so join us in helping support them in their work.



12, 13, 14 October 2018
Bay of Islands Walking Weekend

 “Bay of Islands Walking Weekend is a new walking weekend to the calendar and is based out of Russell in the stunning Bay of Islands. Over two and half days there are 22 walks to choose from, all walks leave from Russell and for the more adventurous among us, take a trip on a boat out to some of our fabulous islands where some of the walks are based....   Need accommodation? The Duke team will look after you (we're not promising foot rubs!) and provide the perfect spot to relax and refuel after a hard days walking...”


19, October 2018
Coastal Classic

Grab yourself a warm jacket & binoculars then head for Flagstaff Hill to watch as the fleet race into the Bay. Division One is going to welcome, for the first time, Kia Kaha to the fleet. Kia Kaha is the TP52 formerly known as Valkyrie, Lexus and Bigamist, and sailed by Russell Coutts and some of the then young breed of Team New Zealand sailors in 2005.


3 November 2018
Russell Annual Flower Show

Held in the town hall each year, a great way to spend the day. Stalls on the village green, kids having fun etc. This year we have a scarecrow competition for the kids. Bake your own cake or braed to enter in a competition too. Just stay out of the neighbour’s garden when getting your entry together!


6 November 2018
Melbourne Cup at the Duke

Book your tickets for the fabulous Melbourne Cup Gala Luncheon on the Duke's deck. Filled with all the frivolity of fashions on the field, prizes for best hat, outfits, etc.  With full coverage of all the horse races, tab and our very own Russell Steeplechase stakes along the Strand. Tickets are limited, call reception for details. 09 4037829


27, 28, 29 November 2018Te

Rima Multisport Challenge

Swim/Run/Kayak/Mountain bike/Run 101 . kmTime2Train will host the newest Multi-Sport event in the land with the 2nd annual Te Rima Multisport Challenge 101.


Fireworks on New Years Eve!
Russell Waterfront

Watch the fireworks from Russell Wharf and ring in the new year with a bang! The above water display is outstanding and seems to get better every year. There are few places in the world as friendly as Russell on the evening of 31st December! See you there.


Fishing Tournements

So many fish – so little time. Russell and the Bay of Islands are hosts to a wide variety of fishing tournaments. From the Zane Grey one Base to the International Yellow tale there is one to suit all fisher-people.



Things to do

Russell and the Bay of Islands offer many great activities and things to do during your stay.

Read more

About Us

Find out more about who we are here at the Duke Motel.

Read more


Centrally located, the motel is walking distance Russell’s village centre to access shops, cafes and restaurants or simply to enjoy the beach.

Read more