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Flagstaff Hill
Holiday Travel Guide

Flagstaff Hill featuring a lake or waterhole and a bay or harbour

On this important hill, learn about New Zealand’s early Māori and colonial history, look for iconic birds and take in the stunning views of the Bay of Islands.

Flagstaff Hill, or Te Maiki in Māori, has been an important vantage point for centuries. It remains popular today for those same views and its historical significance. Enjoy the 360-degree vistas of the Bay of Islands and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on the horizon.

Feel that you have earned the views from the top of Flagstaff Hill by making the walk up to the top from the historical village of Russell. Follow the directions from the northern end of The Strand, which runs along the picturesque waterfront of the town. The walk is a 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) loop along a beach and up through regenerating manuka coastal scrub.

As you approach the top, you will realize why this hill has always been a strategic spot. The Māori of this area saw the benefits of this vantage point early on and made terraced sections near the top to assist in their defense. These terraces are still there today.

Once at the top, take in the breathtaking views. Emerald-hued islands and rock formations dot the bright blue waters of the aptly named Bay of Islands. The colonial town of Russell clings to the hill and rolling hills stretch out to the southwest.

Stand beneath the tall flag pole that gave the hill its name. It’s not the original, however. The first few flagstaffs were cut down by local Māori to send a signal to the European settlers, who had made nearby Old Russell their capital. This protest followed the signing of the Waitangi Treaty in 1840, just across the bay.

While at the top of the hill, head to the sundial. This point offers even more stunning views. While walking around the hill at dawn, dusk or at night, be very quiet and listen out for curious weka and shy kiwi, the iconic flightless birds that call this hill home.

Flagstaff Hill is always accessible and free to visit. As well as a walking trail to the summit, there is a steep road up, with a parking lot at the top.

Top activities in Flagstaff Hill

437 Cheap Hotels Near Flagstaff Hill

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
4.5 out of 5
35 The Strand, Bay of Islands, Russell
The price is NZ$135 per night from 19 May to 19 May
Situated on the waterfront, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Russell Beach, Russell Museum and Russell Christ Church. Tapeka Point and Flagstaff ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (484 reviews)
"nicely refurbished old hotel with a good restaurant in the most amazing spot under some trees right on the waters edge overlooking the bay"

Reviewed on 12 May 2021

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
4 out of 5
1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi
The price is NZ$140 per night from 17 May to 17 May
Located in Waitangi, this beachfront hotel is next to a golf course and within 1 mi (2 km) of Waitangi Golf Club and Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Paihia Beach and ...
4/5Very Good! (986 reviews)
"Loved the room, the pool and the spa. Wasn’t offered a drink at dinner, had to ask for it."

Reviewed on 29 Mar. 2021

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
Eagles Nest
Eagles Nest
5 out of 5
60 Tapeka Road, Bay of Islands, Russell
The price is NZ$1,295 per night from 23 May to 23 May
Located in Russell, this beachfront lodge is next to a golf course and within a 10-minute walk of Tapeka Point and Flagstaff Hill. Russell Beach and Tapeka Point ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
1st Wedding Anniversary
"Perfect romantic escape for our 1st wedding anniversary. Stunning and private location and in room chef was a fantastic way to cap the experience."

Reviewed on 22 Jul. 2018

Eagles Nest
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Flagstaff Hill Flight & Hotel Packages

Tetra Serviced Apartments by Nesuto
Auckland Airport Kiwi Motel
Eagles Nest
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Top Flagstaff Hill Hotel & Accommodation Deals

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
4.5 out of 5
35 The Strand, Bay of Islands, Russell
The price is NZ$135 per night from 19 May to 19 May
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
4 out of 5
1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi
The price is NZ$140 per night from 17 May to 17 May
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
Eagles Nest
Eagles Nest
5 out of 5
60 Tapeka Road, Bay of Islands, Russell
The price is NZ$1,295 per night from 23 May to 23 May
Eagles Nest
The Sails
The Sails
3.5 out of 5
71 Wellington Street, Russell
The Sails
The Sails
The Sails
3.5 out of 5
71 Wellington St, Russell, Northland
The Sails
Russell Top 10 Holiday Park
Russell Top 10 Holiday Park
3 out of 5
1 James Street, Russell, Northland
The price is NZ$103 per night from 17 May to 17 May
Russell Top 10 Holiday Park
Titore Lodge
Titore Lodge
4.5 out of 5
32 Titore Way, Russell
Titore Lodge
Villa 2 Te Maiki - Panoramic views - private enclave close to Russell township
Villa 2 Te Maiki - Panoramic views - private enclave close to Russell township
Te Maiki Villas, 10 Flagstaff Road, Russell, Northland
Villa 2 Te Maiki - Panoramic views - private enclave close to Russell township
Donkey Bay Inn
Donkey Bay Inn
4 out of 5
38 Long Beach Road, Russell
The price is NZ$592 per night from 8 Jun. to 8 Jun.
Donkey Bay Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.