The Chatham Islands are New Zealand’s eastern most outpost, the first place in the world to welcome the new day and a treasure trove of endemic plants and animals that have evolved in isolation and make these islands one of New Zealand’s most biologically important regions.
Originally colonized by the Moriori people who created a unique lifestyle and society on the islands while living in isolation from the outside world on the abundant natural resources of the sea and land. Later European and Maori arrivals brought their own history and traditions which have melded together to create the culture of the Chatham Islands. Today many locals are descended from Moriori genealogy, a history and culture that you can discover during your stay.
The Chatham Islands lie at the eastern extremity of the Chatham Rise and were formed by a combination of volcanic activity and uplift of the underlying basement rocks to create the low lying rolling landscape of the main island while the outlying smaller islands are the remains of individual volcanic events. The fauna and flora of the Chatham’s has strong affinities to the main islands of New Zealand but through isolation many species have evolved to the local climate becoming unique to the islands. The oceanic climate ensures a wide diversity of species are able to flourish while the ocean brings its own unique abundance of sea life including the albatross the petrels that breed primarily on the offshore Islands.
Our Chatham Islands program is designed from our long experience of travelling and working in these remarkable islands to give you the greatest opportunity to experience all that the islands are able to offer.