The little town of Russell is often mistaken for an island, but in reality it is positioned on the tip of a peninsula connected to the mainland. It is much easier and quicker to access Russell by Ferry from either Paihia or Opua. From Paihia you can catch a blue, red or white ferry that ply the bay every few minutes; they cost $5-8 one way per person. Most evenings, Paihians hop on a ferry to dine at one of the restaurants along the Russell foreshore.
Alternatively you can take your car across by catching the vehicular ferry from Opua (10 minutes south of Paihia). The ferry runs every 15 minutes and costs $18 return for the car, driver and one passenger. The ferry runs every 15 minutes until 9:30pm, and 10:30pm on weekends.
It is very easy to drive around Russell and explore the pretty bays. The township itself is quaint and easy to walk around. There is a grocery store, stationers, museum, fabulous restaurants and lots of heritage buildings of interest. Russell is a nice place to while away a sunny afternoon – and if it’s a bit windy you can find a nice sheltered little cove for a refreshing swim.