Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve, Russell

Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Climb the well-maintained path through regenerating coastal forest to the summit of Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve, where you can enjoy sweeping vistas overlooking the Bay of Islands. Close to the top, you'll pass a vast sundial with a mosaic base, commemorating the Institute of Surveyors Centennial. At the peak, the eponymous flagpole towers above you, and a plaque explains the history behind the hill's name. The British colonial government was the first to erect a flag here in 1840. Hone Heke, a local Māori chief, regarded the Union Jack flying over the bay as a symbol of the loss of Māori control in the area. Under Heke's command, Māori cut down the flagstaff four times between 1844 and 1845. Years later, the Māori planted a fifth and final flag as a symbol of reconciliation with the British. Keep your eyes peeled for the kiwis that populate the area, although the shy flightless birds are expert at hiding from passersby. Plan to visit Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve during your Russell vacation using our convenient Russell route planner.
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Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
475 reviews
  • A significant historic site that you should visit if you can. The story is well told on a series of information panels. And the view from the hill is magnificent.  more »
  • On a beautiful sunny winter day, a trip up the hill was a treat. Extensive views in every direction, and comprehensive history of the flagpole, and site on a bronze plaque. A place steeped in history.  more »
  • Rich in history and very humbling to be surrounded by the deep history of Maori and all they went through  more »

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