The Chathams Islands is a remote, awe-inspiring place that is full of birdlife and incredible history making for an unforgettable visit.

Discover the Chahams

The Chatham Islands consist of two main inhabited islands, Chatham Island and Pitt Island. Pitt Island lies 23km south east of Chatham Island and both islands are surrounded by a number of smaller islands, all within a radius of approximately 50km. The main island, Chatham, has an area of 90,000 hectares. Pitt Island has an area of 6,300 hectares.

The islands were first inhabited by Moriori, who named the islands 'Rekohu' – translated as 'misty skies' or 'misty sun'. European sealers and whalers were next to arrive, followed by Māori from New Zealand who named the islands 'Wharekauri'. Descendants of Moriori still reside on the Chatham Islands today. For more information about the Chathams' heritage, history and nature, visit the Chatham Island Enterprise Trust's Discover the Chathams(external link) website.

Video: Sky View Photography

The Chatham Islands is made up of 11 islands located 800kms east of the South Island.

Airport and transport

Air Chathams(external link) is New Zealand’s largest privately owned airline and flies to some of New Zealand’s most remote destinations, including the Chatham Islands – directly from from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Check out its up-to-date flight schedule(external link) and travel information(external link).

The airport it is located 20 kilometres from Waitangi. It is advised you make arrangements with your accommodation provider to be met on arrival as there are no shuttle buses. Rental vehicles are available on the Chathams but should also be arranged through your accommodation provider.

Chatham Island roads are a mix of sealed and gravel roads. Please take care when driving as dust, children, hikers, mountain bikers stock and motor bikes are common. At night you may also encounter wandering stock. For your safety and that of other road users, please stick to the speed signs and for additional safety we strongly recommend a maximum speed of 40km in towns and 60km on the open road.

Chatham Islands Map
Map of Chatham Islands