Our Home - the Chatham Islands
A special part of the world. A unique part of New Zealand's heritage, natural environment, plants and animals.
New Zealand's most eastern islands located over 800 kilometres (500 miles) east of southern NZ. About 600 people live on the two largest islands, Chatham and Pitt and we have officially been part of New Zealand since 1842.
The islands are volcanic in origin and have a rugged and windswept vista with delicate habitats that can be easily damaged by the elements and mankind. With diverse landscapes and fascinating history, the Chatham Islands are renowned for its bountiful seafood industry and conservation efforts protecting many rare and endangered species.
On many people's bucket lists, there are a few things you need to know before making a visit.
- You don't need a passport.
- There are no mobile phone networks on the island - bring your phone only for photographs and enjoy being unconnected for a while.
- Electricity is standard for New Zealand at 240 volts AC. Sometimes unreliable we recommend surge protection on your devices.
- Pack clothing for variable weather,. Think layers and protection from the sun, wind and rain. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended.
- There is a 45 minute time difference on Chatham Islands - ahead of mainland New Zealand time so don't forget to adjust your time piece.
- There are no shuttles or taxis. Transport from the airline needs to be arranged with your accommodation as will any rental vehicle prior to your visit.
- Check with your accommodation provider about any specialist needs or allergies as the Chatham Islands often has limited supplies for specific requirements.
- There is a small hospital with a resident doctor and nurses available, Air Chathams always recommends travel insurance for any air travel.
- With deep family connections and local heritage, many places of interest are on private land and require the owner’s permission to visit. If you are unsure, please ask first.
For more information, please visit Discover the Chatham Islands.
A few things to do...
- Stroll on one of many beaches – from a short walk to the 4 hour walk along the white sands of Waitangi Bay or the 1 ½ hour walk from Waitangi to Te One.
- Take a day to discover any one of the beautiful reserves. Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve, Henga Scenic Reserve, J.M Barker (Hapupu) Scenic Reserve and the Nikau Bush Walk are amongst your choices.
- Tour Pitt Island for a day. The first island in New Zealand to see the sun, Pitt Island attractions include Mount Hakepa (or “Walk ‘em up” as locally known), Flowerpot Bay and cliff side jail, Waihere Head, Glory Cottage and the Ellen Elizabeth Preece Conservation Covenant.
- A statue of Tame Horomona Rehe (known as Tommy Solomon) is located on a small private land reserve as a memorial. He was recognised as the last living pure blood Moriori before his death in 1933. The public is welcome to visit but please don’t touch the statue.
- Take a fishing charter to experience catching the abundant and fresh kai moana (seafood) the residents of the island enjoy all year round. There are local limits and practices to preserve these valuable resources and a closed season for crayfish (commercial and recreational) from the 1st of March to the 30th of April each year.
- A photographers and bird watchers heaven – you’ll never be short of subject matter no matter the time of day. Make sure you take your camera to capture those wonderful sights.