Mike and Stephie
Jun 08, 2023

See timing, itinerary and pricing details of the tour below

This is one of the most comprehensive Chatham Island itineraries, taking you to the remote corners to discover many of the unique bird species that call the Chatham Islands home. Many are endangered including the Chatham Island Black Robin. Apart from the native flora and fauna, you will meet the locals and visit the various historical and geographical sites.

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 species 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.

Welcome to the Chatham Islands - there's a photo opportunity around every corner

Our local host, Toni Croon runs Hotel Chatham, the social hub of the island. Tour guide extraordinaire working in conjunction with The Travel Warehouse, she's all smiles and straight-up good sort.  She's often behind the wheel of her bus with up to 14 folks from New Zealand (they don't call it the Mainland here).

On the beach around the rocks the native forget-me-nots are in full bloom - a very much more robust cousin of the garden variety, these island flowers are hardy specimens and drop dead beautiful. They're found throughout the island. Cyclone Pam took out five metres of this part of the beach and many of the forget-me-nots with them in 2015 but they don't give up all that easily and they're coming back to this coastline.

Back on the tour, head to the nikau reserve - 19 hectares of lowland broadleaved forest on the north-western shore of the huge Te Whanga Lagoon. These forests were common on the fertile soils on the Chatham Islands. This nikau stand is the largest remaining.

Hotel the hub of the town

Our groups stay in Waitangi, the island's only town - a couple of petrol pumps, general store, a museum and two hardware stores, one of which is owned by new mayor Monique Croon, Toni's sister and the island's first female mayor. 

It's the kind of place that wraps itself around you in a good old hug as soon as your de- booted feet cross the threshold.

At the bar tonight we talk to Cliff who comes here twice a year since he lost his wife. Toni takes him under her wing, gets him to jump in on her tours. He's going fishing for blue cod the next day. You don't have to wait long for those guys to bite, he says. Drop a simple line in shallow waters and a minute later, boom! you've hooked one. Cliff's talking to Trevor who's heading out the next day to Pitt Island about 90 minutes away by boat if the swell dies down and the fog doesn't descend. He's going hunting for the elusive and wild Pitt Island ram.

For dinner we eat blue cod cooked by head chef Kaai Silbery, who left the frenetic pace of Auckland six years ago for a three-week stay on Chatham. She stepped off the plane and decided this was the place for her before she even got out of the airport. Tomorrow nights dinner is Crayfish.

Seafood bounty

Hunting, diving and fishing are massive drawcards out here. The crays are on steroids, as are the kina and paua. There are no supermarkets. The sea is their larder.

Our guide points to some of the many kina and paua gripping to the rocks as the tide starts to come in. She collects a feed and makes the point that even though there's an abundance of kaimoana on these shores, just taking what you need for a feed is the best way to sustain the food source for future generations.

We head back before she cooks the paua up with onions, butter and cream over a fire as the sun dips.

Spiritual home

The next day we take a trip up to the north east of the island around the lagoon to the Rākau momori - a stand of 600 year-old kopi trees with unique Moriori carvings etched into them.  There were more than 1,000 trees etched with stylised human figures but tree rot and various other factors have dwindled these down to about 130.

Relics of Moriori are sometimes still found on the island. After the 1835 invasion by displaced Taranaki iwi  Ngāti Mutunga  and  Ngāti Tama  the peaceful Moriori were decimated. Their numbers declined from around 2000 to just over 100 by 1862.

Must do's on the Island

  • Visit the memorial statue of Tommy Solomon (the last full-blooded Moriori) at Manukau
  • Look for fossilised sharks teeth on the shores of the enormous Te Whanga Lagoon
  • Check out the relic of the massive Sunderland Flying Boat, wrecked on the lagoon but being lovingly restored
  • Visit Kōpinga Marae south-east of Waitangi, the main town
  • Visit the Stone Cottage, an old German missionary station
  • Admiral Gardens - Lois and Val Croon (Toni's folks) garden created to attract the birds, bees and butterflies. A labour of love by the couple and a beautiful oasis on the island
  • Basalt Columns - hexagonal columns formed over 80 million years ago
  • Visit the brilliant Chatham Island Museum in Waitangi town. Small but informative collection of the island's history

Things to know

  • You don't need a passport to go to Chatham Islands
  • There are no mobile phone networks on the island, though there is WIFI at the accommodation
  • There is a 45 minute time difference on Chatham Islands - ahead of mainland New Zealand time
  • Many places of interest are on private land and require the owner's permission to visit

Getting there

Air Chathams flies all year round to Chatham Islands with additional flights during the high season from November to mid-April. They fly to Chatham Islands from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and from Auckland to Whakatane, Whanganui, Kapiti Coast and direct to Norfolk Island. See

Rēkohu is unfussy, it's unpredictable. Maybe that's what makes it so utterly memorable. For many it's the people who made it, everything else is a bonus.

The Travel Warehouse have been operating tours to the Chatham Islands for over 20 years.

Tour Inclusions


Touring as per itinerary, local guide, share twin accommodation, entrances, attractions and meals as per final itinerary.


Airfares, refreshments, other items not stated as included on the final itinerary.

Single Accommodation:

Available on request.

N.B: The Chathams are situated mid ocean and can be subject to extreme weather conditions. Be prepared for all weather eventualities. In addition to suitable clothing bring strong walking shoes and sufficient medications (there is no chemist on the island).


Tour Dates:

November and March.

Tour Prices:

  • Standard twin / double $3,695
  • Executive double/twin $3,995
  • Single in standard twin / double $4,695
  • Single (no private facilities) $3,695


Day 1 - Welcome to the Chatham Islands
  • Arrive at Chatham Island approx. 4:00 pm
  • Quick stop to the Bluffs to take photographs
  • Arrive hotel 5:00 pm for check in
  • Crayfish welcome dinner

Day 2 - The wild west
  • Breakfast 7 am – 9 am
  • Stone Cottage
  • Waitangi West cattle station
  • Picnic lunch
  • Splatter Rock / Cape Young
  • Dinner at Hotel

Day 3 - Fishing (optional) - Owenga Fishing Village
  • Breakfast 7 am – 9 am
  • Moriori Marae
  • Owenga Club community lunch
  • Fish factory tour
  • Tommy Solomon memorial statue
  • Dinner at Hotel

Day 4 - Pitt Island (optional) Waitangi town / South Coast
  • Breakfast 7 am – 9 am
  • Museum Visit
  • Tiki Tiki hill & Town walk
  • Cottage Gift Shop
  • River Onion Art Gallery lunch
  • South Coast scenic drive
  • Local jewellery art studio
  • Dinner at Hotel

Day 5 - Kaingaroa Fishing Village
  • Breakfast 7 am – 9 am
  • Nikau Bush Walk
  • Ocean mail reserve
  • Picnic lunch
  • Muirson’s Farm & Seal Colony
  • Hapupu (Tree carvings)
  • Kaingaroa Social Club buffet dinner

Day 6 - Te Whanga Lagoon
  • Breakfast 7 am – 9 am
  • Nunuku’s Cave (Rock Carvings)
  • Te Matarae
  • Picnic lunch
  • Shark teeth hunting
  • Henga Scenic Reserve
  • Dinner at Hotel

Day 7 - Port Hutt
  • Breakfast 7 am – 9 am
  • Basalt Columns
  • Port Hutt
  • Picnic Lunch
  • Long beach walk
  • Admiral Gardens buffet dinner

Day 8 - Port Hutt
  • Breakfast 6:30 am – 8 am
  • Bus departs at 8:30 am for the airport
  • Depart Chatham Island for Auckland

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