Upcoming Bay of Islands Events

There are many regular annual events in Russell and the wider Bay of Islands area.  We have listed a few to showcase the diversity of what is available in the area. Please note, we do endeavour to keep this page as updated and as current as possible, but we cannot guarantee that all events will run as listed – we encourage you to check the links we have provided.

Paihia Farmer's Market Every Thursday

The Paihia Farmer's Market is run on a Thursday afternoon, no matter the weather. The market is where you can grab some fresh food direct from the grower or producer. Tempt your taste buds with some new and familiar flavours. Paihia is a quick ferry ride from the Russell wharf in the township.
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Kerikeri Farmer's Market Every Sunday

A Farmers’ Market is a place where you can buy fresh food, grown or produced within a defined local region, direct from the grower or producer. We are open every Sunday from 8.30am to 12 noon – RAIN OR SHINE! Opened in August 2004, making it one of the longer-established Farmers’ Markets in the country. Visitors come to experience the flavours of Northland and to buy mementos and gifts. Others just like to soak up the sights and smells and enjoy the live music.
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Bay of Islands Walking Weekend 2, 3 and 4 Oct

The walking weekend is an annual event which has over 20 walks to choose from. The walks range all over Russell and there is something to tempt everyone. The walks are all run by local guides, to ensure you don’t get lost and to help you get the best out of your day!
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Coastal Classic Yacht Race 23 Oct 2015

The Coastal Classic is an annual racing event which can be observed from Flagstaff Hill in Russell (make sure you take binoculars!). Who knows, you might end up witnessing some of the next winners of the America’s Cup!
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Kerikeri Half Marathon 21 November 2015

Come join other running and jigging enthusiasts alike in this picturesque, rural half marathon that runs from Okaihau to Kerikeri.
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BOI Classic Ocean Swim 21 Nov 2015

An annual event whereby those who love to swim can test their mettle. Whether you’re an experienced swimmer who can cut it swimming from Russell to Paihia, or a kid wanting to get into a bit of ocean swim racing, they have an event for the swimming enthusiasts out there. Photo credit: BW Photography
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Russell Birdman Festival 15, 16 & 17 July 2016

The Russell Birdman festical is now recognised as the largest winter festival in Northland with visitors from far afield coming to Russell for the weekend. Started in 2007, it’s now run over three days with the ultimate event being people attempting to ‘fly’ off the end of the wharf dressed in their various designs.
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BOI Jazz & Blues Festival 9, 9 & 10 August 2016

Every year jazz and blues musicians gather from all over New Zealand and overseas for the annual Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival. The eight venues in Paihia, Russell and Haruru Falls host over 150 hours of quality jazz and blues during the three-day event. There are 50 acts featured. Street performances each morning add to the atmosphere of the festival.
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Classic Car Show August 2016

Hot rods, classic and custom cars meet at the Duke of Marlborough Tavern (the back pub) for a day devoted to petrol heads and shiny chrome. You can drool near, but not touch these beautiful cars. This event just gets better every year.
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RUSSELL Annual Flower Show 8 August 2016

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 bread to enter in a competition too. Just stay out of the neighbour’s garden when getting your entry together!
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BOI Snorkel & Scuba Race September 2015

The 32nd 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.
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Russell Christmas Parade 19 December 2015

The Russell Christmas Parade will be featuring a Christmas Market for 2015. The parade will finish at the Duke of Marlborough Tavern where out the back “Santa’s Grotto” will be open to all for some fun and Christmas cheer. Last year was a blast, don’t miss it. Oh, and please bring the kids.
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New Year's Eve Fireworks Display 31 December 2015

Choose the right spot to get the most of the spectacular fireworks display that will rock Russell and Paihia!
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BOI Tall Ships Race 9 Jan 2016

Tall ships from far and wide come to Russell to compete in this visually stunning race. It’s not too hard to imagine the Bay back in a time when tall ships would have been common, the sight of their billowed sails and proud masts dotting the water. Contact the Russell Boat Club for more information.
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Bay of Islands Sailing Week 26, 27, 28 and 29 Jan 2016

An annual event, running for over ten years, the week of racing is run by a dedicated group of volunteers. Whether you are planning to participate or observe, it’s a fabulous week of sailing. Photo Credit: Will Calver oceanphotography.co.nz
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Waitangi Day Paihia 6 Feb 2016

Waitangi is situated just across the Bay from Russell and is the site where one of New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. On Waitangi Day itself there are many family friendly activities on at the Treaty grounds (with special ferries going from Russell direct to Waitangi).
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Duke of Marlborough Tavern - Downhill Derby Feb 2016

After an awesome first year, the Duke of Marlborough Tavern will provide more fun and hilarity as the best of the boxcar and trolley racers set the pace in a fantastic community event. Great fun and great prizes. Everyone is welcome to enter
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BOI Country Rock Festival 8, 9 and 10 May 2016

Come to the Bay in May to get your country music fix. With over 50 acts from New Zealand, the USA and Australia there is a huge abundance of country tunes to absorb. We hear tell there's even some line dancing!
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