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Storm Brewing Over Russell Car Rentals


A storm is brewing between the Russell Business Association and some rental car companies.

“For the last three years we have gone out of our way to remind all rental car operators in New Zealand to advise them that the road link between Whangarei and Russell through Ngaiotonga is now fully sealed,” said Jacqui Knight, Secretary of the Business Association. “We even had a very positive conversation with their national body and thought we’d finally sorted it all out.”

“But then a Budget Rental Car customer produced a map they’d been given which clearly states that Budget customers are prohibited from using the Coast Road to Russell. This family said they nearly didn’t come to Russell at all!”

Russell is known for its quiet simplicity, its history and art and craft galleries. The road between Whakapara and Russell meanders through pleasant rural scenery to the coast south of the Bay, where there are breathtaking views of the Cape Brett Peninsula. The remaining 20 kilometres winds around the beaches of the Southern Bay of Islands.

“Visitors to the Far North who have an hour to spare enjoy the experience driving this way. It is a terrible shame that the rental car companies will not lift this exclusion put on the road when it was unsealed and narrow.”


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