Pompallier Mission

Historic Building in Russell

Built in 1842 to house the Catholic mission’s printing press, this rammed-earth building is the mission's last remaining building in the western Pacific, and NZ's oldest industrial building. Over its seven years of operation, a staggering 40,000 books were printed here in Māori. Admission includes extremely interesting hands-on tours that lead you through the entire bookmaking process, from the icky business of tanning animal hides for the covers, to setting the type and stitching together the final books. You can visit the gardens only ($7) if you miss out on the tour.