How to get to Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park
If you have your own transport there are two main ways to get to Russell, depending on how much time you have and your sense of adventure.
Some GPS’s don’t recognise the car ferry at Opua as the direct route to Russell and may direct you via the longer (although very scenic) coastal road instead. So make sure your GPS has the latest software programme but if you are unsure and don’t want to take the coast road then set your GPS for Beechy St, Opua, which is where the ferry wharf is.
THE VEHICULAR FERRY
A continuous vehicular ferry service operates during the day, with a reduced service in the evening, 365 days of the year. Bookings are not required and you pay on board. The ferry takes campervans, trucks and cars. The crossing takes approximately 10 minutes.
Vehicular Ferry Facts
- Mainland departure location: Opua
- Russell peninsular location: Okiato
- First ferry: Okiato 0640, Opua 0650
- Last ferry: Okiato 2150, Opua 2200
- Tickets: Purchased on board - cash, EFTPOS or credit card facilities available
- Price: Car $12.50, Campervan 6-8m $19, Bus 8-10m $29, Foot Passenger $1
THE HIGHWAYThe most direct route is to take State Highway 1 from Auckland to Cape Reinga. About 45 minutes north of Whangarei at Kawakawa take SH11 to Opua, Paihia and Russell (via vehicle ferry). Although the road is windy, it is fully sealed and well signposted. At the top of the hill leading to Opua, turn right and head down to the vehicle ferry. On the other side (called Okiato) keep following the main road for approximately 7km to Russell. The road is fully sealed. Drive straight through the village along York Street. Turn right onto Wellington St/Long Beach Road, then left into James Street. Russell Top 10 is on the corner of Long Beach Road and James Street.
VIA THE WEST COASTFrom the Waipoua Forest drive along State Highway 12 heading to Kawakawa. At the junction of State Highway 1 and State Highway 11 turn left onto State Highway 11 heading for Opua. Opua is approximately 12 kms from Kawakawa. At the top of the hill leading to Opua, turn right and head down to the vehicle ferry. On the other side (called Okiato) keep following the main road for approximately 7km to Russell. The road is fully sealed. Drive straight through the village along York Street. Turn right onto Wellington St/Long Beach Road, then left into James Street. Russell Top 10 is on the corner of Long Beach Road and James Street.
THE BYWAYFor a more scenic journey, take the Old Russell road, which turns right off SH1 at Whakapara, approximately 20 minutes north of Whangarei. Following signs for Oakura, take your time and enjoy the fully sealed road as it meanders around the coast. There are plenty of beautiful beaches and places to stop for a leisurely break. This route takes a little longer, but is more picturesque and avoids the cost of the vehicle ferry.
THE ‘OOP’S WE’VE MISSED THE LAST FERRY WAY
If you find yourself arriving late at night and the last ferry has gone there is a back road through the Waikare forest. The turn-off is approximately 5 minutes after Kawakawa (Opua side) and is signposted ‘Waikare’. Please note: this is a narrow, unsealed and very windy road and not recommended for overseas visitors unused to driving on New Zealand’s wilder back roads.
Naked Bus and Intercity run a coach service from downtown Auckland to downtown Paihia. Once in Paihia, head for the wharf which is only 100m away from the coach terminal, and catch one of the passenger ferries to Russell.