Flagstaff Hill

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

Flagstaff Hill

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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.

435 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, 0255
The price is NZ$135 per night from 18 May to 19 May
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Russell. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a fitness centre. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (518 reviews)
"Amazing place to stay. Gotta love the Duke and Russell"

Reviewed on 5 Feb. 2022

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Eagles Nest
Eagles Nest
5 out of 5
60 Tapeka Road, Bay of Islands, Russell, 0202
Stay at this 5-star luxury lodge in Russell. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and free parking. Popular attractions Flagstaff Hill and Tapeka Point are located ...
5/5 Exceptional! (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
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
4 out of 5
1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi, 0200
The price is NZ$135 per night from 17 May to 18 May
Stay at this 4-star beach hotel in Waitangi. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in their reviews. ...
4/5 Very Good! (993 reviews)
"A lovely couple of days.. ALL the staff friendly and helpful. We did notice some areas that needed maintenance - but overall it was a great good place to stay"

Reviewed on 20 Apr. 2022

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
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.

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Top Flagstaff Hill Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Dolphin Motel
Dolphin Motel
4 out of 5
69 Williams Road, Paihia, 0200
The price is NZ$108 per night from 12 Jun. to 13 Jun.
Dolphin Motel
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
4.5 out of 5
35 The Strand, Bay of Islands, Russell, 0255
The price is NZ$135 per night from 18 May to 19 May
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
Eagles Nest
Eagles Nest
5 out of 5
60 Tapeka Road, Bay of Islands, Russell, 0202
Eagles Nest
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
4 out of 5
1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi, 0200
The price is NZ$135 per night from 17 May to 18 May
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
The Sails
The Sails
3.5 out of 5
71 Wellington St, Russell, Northland, 202
The Sails
The Sails
The Sails
3.5 out of 5
71 Wellington Street, Russell, 0202
The Sails
Villa 2 Te Maiki - Panoramic views - private enclave close to Russell township
Villa 2 Te Maiki - Panoramic views - private enclave close to Russell township
Russell, Northland
Villa 2 Te Maiki - Panoramic views - private enclave close to Russell township
Villa Russell
Villa Russell
4 out of 5
2 Little Queen Street, Bay Of Islands, Russell, 0202
The price is NZ$220 per night from 17 May to 18 May
Villa Russell
Te Maiki Retreat - Russell Holiday Home
Te Maiki Retreat - Russell Holiday Home
Russell, Northland
Te Maiki Retreat - Russell Holiday Home
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.