“Hell Hole of the Pacific” Not Anymore, Now Russell, New Zealand Is Lovely

After her horrid flight over, it seemed only fitting that I take my niece straight to the Hell Hole of the Pacific. It was easy compared to her prior three days of travel. Just a short car drive and a quick passenger ferry and we were there, in the former heartbeat of the Hell Hole of the Pacific.

Take a look at Russell, New Zealand today:

The Hell Hole of the Pacific . . . Today

View Across the Bay:

Hell Hole of the pacific
Christ Church – New Zealand’s Oldest Church, established 1836:

Hell Hole of the pacific
Duke of Marlborough – New Zealand’s First Licensed hotel, established 1827:

Duke of Marlborough Hotel inRussell New Zealand
Old Whaling Pots:

Russell, New Zealand

Hard to believe that back in the lawless days of the early 1800s the first American and Europeans ships arrived in New Zealand. More specifically they were ocean whaling boats, and when they needed a break, they came ashore to the safe and protected harbor of Russell to rest and trade their firearms, alcohol and more. Reading the history I am not sure that safety or trade were their primary motivation, but rather to partake in this town loaded with liquor, prostitution and limited, if any, laws.

Honestly, it’s difficult to stand in stunning Russell, New Zealand and imagine it was once referred to as the Hell Hole of the Pacific.

A Sewing Machine in a Tree – A Silly Story

And since it is Silly Sunday, I thought I would share silly story told to us by our waiter at the famous Duke of Marlborough Hotel. About 170 years ago (he didn’t have an exact date) a fire broke out in the hotel. As the hotel burned, someone tried to save a big heavy sewing machine by throwing it out the window. Unfortunately it landed in the tree outside, which is where it stayed. The tree continued to grow up around it. Now you can only see little bits of the metal.  Being a travel photographer, I had to get a shot of this tree . . . take a close look . . .

Hell Hole of the pacific

What do you think, could you spot the sewing machine, or do you think he made up the entire story?

Submitted for Silly Sunday blog hop

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All photos on this page ©Rhonda Albom 2013

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About Rhonda Albom

When I met my hubby he was looking for a traveling companion. Together we have moved to New Zealand and visited over 42 countries, most with our now teenage girls. Things rarely go as planned, and generally we have an amusing tale to tell. That's what Laugh Quotes is about - the fun side of our adventures and our expat life.


  1. Sorry, but I’m not seeing the sewing machine. I wish I was there visiting you, like your niece. One day.
    Joyce recently posted..School ProjectsMy Profile

  2. I see it…down toward the left and this is definitely a good one for Silly Sunday! I also love you in the big cauldron!

    Happy weekend you guys! :-)
    Jackie recently posted..I’m Back With Birds, Critters And Even A HavenMy Profile

  3. When you invited my daughter to come to New Zealand “for a meal or two” – I didn’t think you meant as the main course! – LOL

  4. Hi Rhonda .. great that your niece is already into sightseeing mode … and the sewing machine in the tree story … very likely I’d say … or more probably from a storm -

    But fun photos and story line .. cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Malingering not! – Winter 1962/3 – more weather stories and memories … floods, storm surges, Dracula, Thames Barrier …My Profile

  5. Great photos, and I’m sure that your niece is having a blast with you as her tour guide! I didn’t see the sewing machine, but love the story behind it.

  6. This is funny because not too long ago a bicycle was growing in the trunk of the tree, no joke.

  7. I’ve looked and now returned and looked I give in I don’t see a sewing machine LOL

    Have a sewing machineless week :-)
    stevebethere recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – The WishMy Profile

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