Chatham Islands Holidays

New Zealand

The Chatham Islands are located 800km (500 mi) off the coast of New Zealand, directly east of Christchurch. Similar to the Orkney and Shetland Islands of Scotland, the Chathams are low-lying, with rugged rocky outcrops, long sandy beaches and diverse wildlife. There are 51 islands in the group, however only two, Chatham and Pitt Islands, are now inhabited. Many of the islands were previously used for farming but are now wildlife sanctuaries under the control of the Department of Conservation. Only around 600 people live on the islands and tourism here is based around a 'host system', with your accommodation hosts providing transport, meals and guided tours, as there is no public transport on the island.

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Flowerpot Tours operate day-tours to nearby majestic and rugged Pitt Island, the second largest island in the group and home to some of New Zealand's rarest plants and birds. Most of Pitt Island is privately owned land, however Flowerpot Tours has negotiated access to some of the island's most scenic vantage points. Visitor numbers to Pitt Island are strictly limited to maintain the delicate balance of nature on the island.

The Chatham Islands are renowned for their excellent fishing and diving, including the thrilling shark cage dive. Charter tours are available from the main island village of Waitangi. There are a number of Department of Conservation nature reserves and walking tracks on Chatham Island. The short JM Barker track leads through mature Kopi forest, while the 2 hour Henga Scenic Walking Trail leads through forest to limestone outcrops, sand dunes and breathtaking views of Petre Bay.

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The Chatham Hotel, which incorporates the main hotel in Waitangi plus a number of other laid-back guest-houses, offers airport transfers, car and bike hire. The restaurant at the Chatham Hotel offers delicious meals incorporating the famous Chatham Island seafood, including crayfish, Blue Cod and Groper. Please search for our favourite accommodations in the Chatham Islands to find current availability and get the best room rates from over 100 booking sources:

Chatham Islands Travel Info
The only way to get to the Chatham Islands is via air, with flights departing regularly from Christchurch. The Chatham Islands Wild Food & Music Festival is held in March each year and features local food tasting and entertainment for the whole family.