THE CHATHAM ISLANDS
✈️ self-guided itinerary
🛏️ minimum 7 night stay recommended
📅 visit any time of year
800 kilometres east of the South Island, and a great side trip to any visit to New Zealand, the Chatham Islands are about as far off the beaten track as you can get. With outstanding scenery and welcoming hosts, this place will leave a lasting impression on you.
Highlights can include:
- J M Barker National Historic Reserve is one of only two national historic reserves in New Zealand, Hapupu protects Moriori rakau momori (tree carvings) 🔎
- the Henga Scenic Reserve Walk takes you out onto huge coastal sand dunes then back through the bush to your starting point 👟
with majestic cliffs, rugged scenery and when you want to be the first in the world to see the sun on any given day, a visit to Pitt Island is a must, and really is officially the first inhabited place on Earth to greet each new day 🌅
- the coastline offers excellent fishing conditions with many operators offering fishing charters, cruises and even shark-cage diving - a fishing paradise 🎣 🐟
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors 1.5
🌦️ Chance of Rain4.0
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun1.5
🍽️ Food + Wine 1.0
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of Sky View Photography on Vimeo
THE CHATHAM ISLANDS
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive on the Chatham Islands
You'll travel to the region by flying into Tuuta Airport. Upon arrival you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings.
Day 2 : the East
Today we'll head to Owenga, a local fishing village with its own working fish factory. We will visit the statue of Tommy Solomon, the last known full blooded Moriori and the Kopinga Marae. Today’s other attractions include the Rangaiki Cliffs with their 250m sheer drop and also the Art studio of renowned local artist Eva Cherie Tuck. We will have great views across Lake Huro and Te Whanga Lagoon today also.
Day 3 : the Northeast
Today we head to Kaingaroa township in the Northeast. There is a small fishing fleet based here and we will also visit monuments commemorating the first contact between the British and Moriori in 1791. We visit ocean mail Beach scenic reserve and have the option of a wetland walk here.
We then visit the stunning Muirson Family farm and the Port Munning fur seal colony finishing the day at Mission Bay which houses the remains of German missionaries and Amercian Sealers from the 1700s
Day 4 : the West
Travelling west today we see the extensive farmlands, ferns and volcanic cones that make up this part of the Chathams. Today we also visit the Stone Cottage, unique in using burnt pipi shells as the mortar to hold it together. We also visit the famous Ohira Bay Basalt Columns
Day 5 : Pitt Island
You'll have the opportunity to overnight here if you wish to, or you can elect to visit for the day. Most of Pitt Island's 6,300 hectares is privately owned and difficult to access - some scenic beauty only visible from private property. We can get access to some of Pitt Island's most scenic vantage points and other points of interest. Highlights include Mount Hakepa, Glory Cottage, Ellen Elizabeth Preece Conservation Covenant, Flower Pot jail, and Waihere Head.
Day 6: the South
We head South along Tuku Road which provides further views of farmlands and coastal waters. We will have a tour of the Stunning Tuku Reserve which has the Parea and also the Chatham Island wood pigeon amongst its extensive birdlife.
Day 7: the best of the rest
We will cover off some of the other parts of the Island with some highlights being Nunucku’s Rock Carvings, the Admiral Gardens and a fossick for sharks teeth during a visit to Blind Jims and Nikau Reserve. You'll also have time to enjoy a fishing charter if you like.
Day 8: Depart the Chatham Islands
This morning it is time to wave goodbye to the Chatham Islands, continuing on to your next New Zealand adventure, wherever you want that to be.