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Bay of Islands – Russell

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Bay of Islands


Russell, formely Kororareka, was the first European settlement in New Zealand in the early 19th century. It was an important trading center and whaling station. When you stroll and look around this small, picturesque place today you can't imagine, that Russel at that time was infamously called Hell Hole of the Pacific because of the grubby and law-disrespecting people hanging round there. Nevertheless in 1840, after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Russel was even constituted to be the first capital of New Zealand – but only for a short period. When the government went to Auckland, Māori chief Hone Heke lost important earnings and felt cheated by his british trade partners. So war arose in the North between the Māori and the British settlers. The Brits won the battle after suffering two defeats. Today Russel counts a population of 1.200. On the picture you see the visitor centre.

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