A special part of the world

Chatham Islands

Chatham Islands

A special part of the world. Experience a unique part of New Zealand's heritage in this remote ocean-bound wilderness that will leave a lasting impression.

The Chatham Islands, New Zealand’s most eastern islands, form an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 800 kilometres (500 miles) east of the South Island. The archipelago consists of eleven islands, with only 2 inhabited.  As of 2018, the Chatham Islands have a resident population of 663 people, residing on the two largest islands, Chatham Island and Pitt Island.  They 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.

Life on the Chathams is unpredictable, at the mercy of nature, so always be prepared.  The kiwi saying, ’four seasons in a day’ rings true, so please ensure you travel prepared for all types of weather.  The following itinerary is a guide only, as changes can happen due to weather and availability of venues / guides.

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Reserve your spot

There is limited availability for this tour.
Please contact us to find out more.

From
 
$5,250
 
per person
$1,000
 
initial deposit
From
 
$5,250
 
per person
$1,000
 
initial deposit
Request more info

*Custom departure points available for all tours

What’s included?
6 nights accommodation
Amazing activities
Comfortable tour coach and flights
Expert tour guide
Delicious meals provided (exclusions apply)
General level of fitness required

Tour highlights

Itinerary

Day 1

Home - Chatham Island

Home (20th April)

Depart Whanganui Racecourse at 9am and make our way south where we will have a quick morning tea stop in Levin, before continuing to Wellington Airport.  Here, you will have time to get yourself some lunch before we board the 2pm flight to Chatham Island.

Departing from another destination

If you are joining the tour from another destination you will receive a personalised itinerary to have you meeting the group in Wellington.

Departing from another destination

If you are joining the tour from another destination you will receive a personalised itinerary to have you meeting the group in Wellington.


Chatham Island

On landing, we will be greeted by our local tour guide and taken to our accommodation for the duration of the tour, right by the beach in the main settlement of Waitangi. The Hotel is a big part of Chatham Island life and there has been a hotel on this site since the 1860s. 

There will be time for some photo opportunities before meeting for our Chatham Islands seafood welcoming dinner as we settle into life on the Chathams.

Accommodation: Hotel Chathams



Day 2

Chatham Island - The Wild West

Chatham Island (21st April)

Our first full day on the island and after breakfast we meet our local guide and head out to explore the western side of the island. Highlights include Stone Cottage, built between 1866 and 1868 for the Moravian Missionaries who arrived in the Chathams in 1843 from Germany, and Waitangi West Station, a 3,400 hectare station that runs around 10,000 sheep. A delightful picnic lunch is organised before we visit Splatter Rock which is a most impressive example of the black basalt pillow lavas that erupted from the sea floor. The shape reflects tubular lava cooling and slumping.

Then it is back to our lovely accommodation to get prepared for another delicious group dinner - what will be on the menu tonight.

Accommodation: Hotel Chathams

Day 3

Chatham Island - Fishing (optional) – Owenga Fishing Village

Chatham Island (22nd April)

Today, you have the option of getting out on the water and experiencing the world-class fishing that the Chathams is renowned for. Please see the information below.

Deep sea fishing:

  • $195 pp, 2 to 3 hours, 10 pax
  • Depart approx 7.30am, returning approx 11.00am
  • All fish and paua caught will be filleted and bagged, frozen and able to be brought home
  • Quota for recreational fishing is 11 blue cod each and 11 hapuka per boat; home early if quota is caught
  • Fresh free flow blue cod or groper can be bought at $65 per 2kg, to be brought home.
Owenga Club

Today also sees us depart for our journey out to the south-east, to the fishing settlement of Owenga.  This fishing village includes a working fish factory which we will visit, plus the remains of The Anglican Church of St Barnabas.  Our guide will also show us the Moriori Kopinga Marae sited on the hilltop at Te Awatea. This is the only Moriori marae in New Zealand.   Next up, is a special lunch today at the Owenga Club, organised by the community which is a great chance to mix and mingle with the locals.  


After lunch, we view the Tommy Solomon Statue at Owenga. Tame Horomona Rehe, also known by the anglicised name Tommy Solomon (7 May 1884 – 19 March 1933), is believed by most to have been the last full-blooded Moriori.  Then it’s back to the hotel for refreshments and another superb meal together.

Accommodation: Hotel Chathams

Day 4

Chatham Island - Pitt Island (optional) Waitangi town / South Coast

Chatham Island (23rd April)

A chance today to head over to the magnificent Pitt Island - weather permitting.  Please find details below:

Pitt Island Day Trip:

  • $400 pp
  • Travel by Cessna plane
  • Depart approx 9.30am, returning approx 4.30pm

On the Chathams, we visit the Museum, Old Radio Station, Tiki Tiki Hill and head over the newly built Waitangi Wharf Drive to the South Coast. We admire the reforestation and endemic birds of the area.

We return to town and enjoy lunch at River Onion Gallery. Local photographer and artist Celine Gregory-Hunt recently renovated and invested in her beautiful property on the side of Waitangi beach, to showcase her artwork inspired by the natural beauty of Chatham and Pitt Island.

Close by, you can purchase souvenirs at Chatham Cottage Gift Shop and locally made jewellery at Dough N Go general store. This afternoon, we visit Taiko Camp where you will have a chance to learn about the albatross relocation and Taiko bird restoration projects. Another delicious meal awaits at the hotel after another memorable day. 

Accommodation: Hotel Chathams


Day 5

Chatham Islands - North-East / Kaingaroa

Chatham Island (24th April)

Another day of exploring is lined up, starting with a visit to Go Wild Apiary. A bee sanctuary which houses what are believed to be earth's last known Black British honeybee.

We have lunch at Ocean Mail before some exciting afternoon activities, starting at Hapupu Historic Reserve where we discover another unique archeological site. Carved into the bark of kopi (karaka) trees within the reserve are Moriori tree carvings – known as dendroglyphs. They are among the little evidence of pre-contact Moriori culture remaining on the island. The last remaining live tree was expected to die and has done so during 2015 – 2017.

We then head to Broughton Landing - an old Mission and Whaling Station, and the farm Mission Station owned by Jim Muirson. Jim has 1,400 hectares, running 3,000 ewes and 350 cows. This is where we will be able to view the remains of a wrecked RNZAF Short Sunderland and a newly arrived Fokker Friendship in the process of preservation. This particular Sunderland aircraft provided an aviation lifeline to the island until it was holed by a rock while taking off from the Te Whanga Lagoon in 1959. 

We finish the day by travelling across paddocks to reach the huge fur seal colony at Point Munning. Dinner tonight is another treat dining at the Kaingaroa Social Club for a buffet dinner ( *subject to the local community availability) then back to the hotel to rest our heads.

Accommodation: Hotel Chathams

Day 6

Chatham Islands - Te Whanga Lagoon

Chatham Island (25th April)

The good times continue today as we venture out to another part of this fascinating island. On the shores of Te Whanga Lagoon, careful fossicking is likely to be rewarded by the discovery of fossilised shark teeth, around 30 million years old! To find a tooth from a creature that was eating fish long before the first primate - let alone the first human - walked the earth is amazing.

On the Western side of the lagoon you’ll find Nunuku’s cave - famous for its Moriori rock carvings of seals and birds. A delicious lunch is included again with the afternoon taking us on a scenic drive and visit to Henga Nursery where we’ll walk to Long Beach through Henga Reserve. Then it is back to the hotel for another lovely evening together, sharing and creating more memories.

Accommodation: Hotel Chathams

Day 7

Chatham Islands - Port Hutt

Chatham Island (26th April)

Our final day on the island so lets make the most of it. Our day begins with a visit to the fishing harbour with the most shipwrecks on the island, at Port Hutt. Our next stop is the amazing Basalt Columns at Waitangi West.

Over farmland down to Ohira Bay lies massive olivine basalt columns, part of lava flows dated near 80 million years ago and only found anywhere in two other places in the world, Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and Scotland. We enjoy a lovely beach walk to work up an appetite before our final group meal together. 

Dinner this evening is a barbecue at Admiral Farm (named after the abundant butterfly). This is a fourth generation Chatham’s property owned by the Croon family with a gorgeous garden featuring the eerie skeletons of dead kopi trees and the stunning Chatham Island forget-me-not. The perfect location and setting for our last night on the island. Drinks and wine provided.

Accommodation: Hotel Chathams

Day 8

Chatham Islands - Home

Chatham Island (27th April)

It’s time to leave the Chathams but we’ve explored the island in depth so with bags packed and fish stored in chilly bins, we board the bus and make our way to the airport. Once we’ve landed in Wellington, the coach will be there to transport us (and our fish) home.

If you are travelling to another destination, all arrangements will be made for you (and your fish) to get safely home.

Optional extras

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Meet your tour guides

Jason Granville

After years in the broadcasting industry, Jase hung up his headphones to run Take It Easy Tours. This has meant he can still pick up the microphone to inform travellers and encourage friendly banter while on tour.

Jimmy Elliott

Jimmy has a wealth of experience and uses this to ensure all trips with Take It Easy Tours are well organised, informative, diverse and a whole heap of fun.

Reserve your spot

$1,000
 
initial deposit
Payment plans available
from
 
$5,250
 
per person

There is limited availability for this tour. Please contact us to find out more.

Frequently asked questions

Can I earn Air New Zealanad airpoints on my flights?

Yes, you can earn airpoints with Take It Easy Tours when we are using Air New Zealand flights. All you need to do is get in contact with us and let us know your airpoints number for each time you wish to earn points.

Can you collect me from my door?

Yes, it would be our pleasure. We can arrange for you to be picked up and returned to your front door at the conclusion of any tour.

How about travel insurance?

We strongly recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your trip. It just puts your mind at ease. Remember to make sure you are covered for and loss of personal possessions, sickness, accidents or travel delays. Feel free to ask us for any tips to make this quick and easy for you.

How active are your tours?

We are called Take it Easy for a reason as we like to do just that. Do as much or as little as you like - after all it's your holiday! However, there is walking and various activities on each tour that require various levels of fitness. Please check with us if you are unsure about anything and relax knowing that there's always another option for you if you would rather miss out on any activity. We always have a back up plan.

I have some dietary requirements?

Please just let us know in advance and we will sort everything for you. Chefs are used to all sorts now when it comes to diet so as long as we know - we’ll have you covered.

What happens if I have to cancel?

Cancellation charges do apply so again we recommend travel insurance. Our cancellation policy is clearly outlined for each tour so make sure you cast your eye over it and please feel free to ask any questions.

What kind of accommodation do we stay in?

Having a good night's rest after a day out touring is very important so we personally choose all of our accommodation. Generally, four star accommodation when available - with all the comforts you need for a relaxed night.

What types of transport do we use?

Our buses are quality touring coaches that are very comfortable and fully air conditioned. They range in size from 19-28 seats ensuring that we can easily access all those secret spots off the beaten track. All vehicles are regularly serviced as your safety is our priority.

Coaches and luggage trailers are always locked and secure but we recommended you take any valuables with you when staying overnight.

Still have questions?

Get in touch with our friendly staff

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