Wondrous Walks

Chatham Island has a number of easy walks enabling you to discover the island at your own pace.

Waitangi Bay Beach

This is a 6km beach walk from Waitangi to Red Bluff and can be undertaken in any tide (except high seas).

Highlights: sea birds, including giant petrels and Chatham Island oystercatcher

Thomas Mohi Tuuta (Rangaika) Scenic Reserve and Cliffs

The Rangaika Scenic Reserve, managed by the Department of Conservation, has a number of bush walks and is located next to the privately owned Rangatika Cliffs. These cliffs enable a view, on a clear day, of both Pitt and the Pinnacle islands.

Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve

The Ocean Mail Scenic reserve is situated 12 km from the Wharekauri turn off and is set in 831 ha of peat dome and wetland. Located north of Te Whanga Lagoon, the walk enables amazing beach and ocean vistas.  

The reserve is part of a Department of Conservation and community group funded regeneration project and vistors are asked to take care walking onto the beach as the dune edge is eroding.

After the walk drive a further 4 km along the main road to the J.M. Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve and a further 6km to Kaingaroa.

Highlights: Ocean and beach views

Henga Scenic Reserve

The loop walk features limestone outcrops, regenerating kopi  (karaka) and mahoe bush, unique sand dune flora and spectacular views over Petre Bay.

The 170 ha reserve is situated on the North road, the track begins by the Henga Scenic Reserve sign on the roadside approximately 15 minutes drive from Waitangi.  There is also an option to walk from Henga Lodge which is on private land and a fee is required.

It takes about 45 minutes to reach the limestone outcrops and sand dunes and there is regenerating bush on the return part of the walk. A shorter 30 minute bush walk can also be completed.

Highlights: limestone outcrops, sand dune endemic plants, and views over Petre Bay.

J.M. Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve

Featuring  Moriori rakau momori (or tree carvings) this ten minute bush walk through mature kopi forest is a must for every visitor and is located only 6 km from Kaiangaroa.

Hapupu-J.M.Barker National Historic Reserve is one of only two New Zealand historic reserves and features Rakau momori carved into the trunks of many mature kopi trees.

Visitors must gain permission to use their photographs of the tree carvings for public or commercial purposes.  Contact; Hokotehi Moriori Trust 03 3050 450.

Highlights: Moriori rakau momori (or tree carvings)

Nikau Bush Conservation Area

The Nikau Bush conservation area consists of 19 ha of lowland regenerating broadleaved forest.

This peaceful track has a nikau palm canopy and regenerating bush that open into forest glades.  In December and January the nikau palm is in bloom.

Highlights: Flowering Nikau Palm (Dec/Jan) and regenerating bush

Chatham Islands Directory

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