Christ Church
Christ Church
4.5
About
Nau mai, haere and welcome to Christ Church, New Zealand's oldest existing church and cemetery. A digital walk can be downloaded from the App stores from Hikoi Tahi Walking Tours which share the fascinating stories of some of the people buried here. Enjoy visiting our cemetery and do visit our beautiful church.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles374 reviews
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ITRT
Virginia38,601 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Friends
The village of Russell was known as Kororareka prior to Captain Cook’s arrival. During its early days, the town was referred to as the “hell hole of the Pacific” because of widespread prostitution. By the 1830s, Russell became a lawless trading center. It attracted all types of misfits including drunks, deserters and escaped convicts because of its good anchorage and whaling industry.

Christ Church was built in 1836 and bears the musket holes from the conflict between the European settlers and the Māori people in 1845. You may have to look closely to see the holes. Limited funds resulted in a very plain church with no steeple being built. In 1840, it was used as a courthouse because it was the only building large enough to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend the murder trial hearing. The Bishop of Auckland presided over a meeting in 1873 when the church was officially named Christ Church. It is open to the public and free to enter. Donations are appreciated.
The cemetery in the church yard was consecrated in 1838 but the first burial was of William Skinner who dies at the age of 43 in 1836. There is a burial ground on the church property that contains the graves of Ngāpuhi chief Tāmati Wāka Nene, early settlers, whalers, and sailors. Some of the gravestones do not have any markings because of their age, some are simply wooden markers, and others are made of sandstone or marble. While the church is Anglican, the cemetery is non-denominational. Christ Church and its graveyard is worth a visit.
Written 19 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James B
5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
A nice little wooden church surrounded by graves. The church is Anglican and fairly simple inside. Apparently the Church was hit by bullets and there are holes in some of the timber. It’s a interesting and a short walk from the main shopping area. The church asks for a donation to keep the church open and the are some small books on the history of the church for a few dollars.
Written 17 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PBPG
Yorkshire, UK6,014 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
Christ Church is New Zealand's oldest surviving church. Built in 1835 by Gilbert Mair in the village of Russell, the Anglican church originally held services in both English and Māori.. On 30 January 1840, it was the site of Captain William Hobson's proclamation that New Zealand would be ruled through New South Wales and that he would serve as Lieutenant Governor of New Zealand. The cost of its construction was contributed to by Charles Darwin in 1863. The church was visited by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1963. There are still musket holes in the chuch form the battle of Kororareka, if local legend is to be believed.
Written 20 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grant N
Hastings, New Zealand1,538 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
Had a look around the graveyard - Tamati Waka Nene memorial was interesting and the memorial to sailors killed during the attacks on Russell. Worth a look if in Russell
Written 30 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shelley M
Albany, New Zealand884 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
It is work a quick stop to look around and check out the bullet holes and cemetery. Gosh so many died here very young, really makes you sad. Well looked after and grounds kept up to look really respected. Well worth a look around if you are in Russell.
Written 12 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SaraNz
NZ19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Take the time to wander outside and read the headstones. The stories they tell will engage and give you a real insight into early settler life (and death) in Russell.
Written 31 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ross C
Richmond, New Zealand265 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
This historic church with visible bullet holes, feels welcoming to visitors. Wander round the outside, note the bullet holes from 19th century battle, and have a quiet look inside and around the graveyard.
Written 13 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Scoblays
Auckland, New Zealand10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
You've not been to Kororareka without coming to this little piece of history, The Church comes with bullet holes and grave sites that are the oldest in NZ. Simply unbelievable until you've seen it.
Written 6 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

greynomads
Christchurch, New Zealand6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Couples
We spent time looking through the gravestones in the Cemetery, after hearing lots of information during our RussellMiniTour with Kelly - she brought it all to life. The cross stitch cushions on the pews are amazing! - take the time to pop in and have a look!
Written 24 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sus1952
Palmerston North, New Zealand2,084 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
This is the oldest church in New Zealand so of huge significance. It survived the fighting of the 1840s and has hosted many famous people such as the Queen. The graves in the churchyard are most interesting and date back to the early days of settlem
Written 11 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Christ Church, Russell

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