Inspiration for your journey to the islands…
A small port settlement in a shallow bay Owenga originally supported a large Moriori population, sadly this was decimated by disease from visiting whalers and sealers in the early 1800’s.
Today Owenga is home to a number of fishermen and their families also a launch point to Pitt Island, has a rugged local coastline for fishing, diving and to view seabirds in their natural habitat.
Waitangi is the main township of the Chatham Islands.
Waitangi is the main busines/service centre - Council, bank and post office, police station, hospital, community hall, information centre, museum, shops, accommodation and more.
There are some places of historical significance in and around Waitangi which makes it well worth exploring.
The northwest coast is very remote and rocky with strong tidal rips which have made this treacherous for ships with many early settlers loosing their lives. The shoreline is mainly Chatham Schist with some historical volcanic activity visible.
The Maunganui Stone cottage is nearby which is built entirely from local stone around 1870 and has been lovingly restored is a must see.
Port Hutt is a small settlement of about a dozen people and houses, which is located in a sheltered cove in Whangaroa harbour. Predominantly a fishing village, it has a long history of settlement dating as far back as the early 1800’s.
A combination of rocky coastline and sandy beaches, Port Hutt is well worth the visit. Make time to explore and take in the sense of history.
Wharekauri meaning “ kauri house” gets its name from a Moriori coastal village situated north of Rangitihi, where some Maori, living with the Moriori at the time, built a house from kauri timber salvaged from the beach.
The name Wharekauri was applied by Moari to the whole of the Chatham Islands and continues today. (Rekohu is the Moriori name for the Chatham Islands) hence the joint name Rekohu/Wharekauri.
Kaingaroa is a sheltered harbour with history dating back to 1791. It is the second largest settlement on the Chatham Islands and is also the place a many ship wrecks. The Kaingaroa Social Club is renowned for its seafood feasts.
Two important plaques commemorate the significance of the Kaingaroa settlement in the development of the Chatham Islands and is well worth a visit and taking time explore.
Located in the heart of the prosperous farming region. It is a well integrated community and has the local offices of Department of Conservation and Air Chathams.
There are two iconic historical places of interest nearby, Lake Huro, the second largest lake which was an important food source for Moriori and early settlers, and Te one Cemetery which bears memory to the diverse heritage of early explorers and settlers.
Pitt Island is named after William Pitt, Earl of Chatham and first recorded in 1807, the Moriori name for Pitt Island is Rangiauria. Pitt Island lies 22 km to the southeast of Chatham Island.
Pitt Island is very rich in history and is often the highlight of visitors holiday to the Chatham Islands.
Your Chatham Island Adventure
Your Chatham Islands adventure holiday will be a journey of discovery. You will take a step back in time, to how life used to be. Prepare to be surprised as these mysterious islands yield up their secrets. Landscapes with volcanic peaks thrusting up out of rolling peatland, forest topped towering seacliffs, the vast expanse of Te Whanga, endless kilometres of sandy beaches and the ever present ocean.
Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, about 800km east of Christchurch, the Chatham Islands are New Zealand’s most easterly region. An archipelago of 11 islands, only Pitt and Chatham are inhabited, by about 600 people.
Meet the Chatham Islanders; people who remain true to themselves while extending warm hospitality to visitors. Visit heritage sites and learn of our fascinating history shaped by years of isolation; Moriori, Maori, sealers, whalers, missionaries, farmers and settlers.
See for yourself the strange and beautiful Chatham Island plants. Although some of our rare birds are protected on island sanctuaries, you can readily find others in bush, on roadsides and beaches. Walk through our forests, expansive wetlands and conservation areas. Venture to Pitt Island, even more remote and surprisingly different from Chatham Island.
Chatham Island Tourism Development office acknowledges the contributing photographers- DOC, ECan and individuals.