The Chatham Islands lie 800 km east of New Zealand. They offer an experience of a lifetime with cultural treasures, awe-inspiring scenery, rich history, and a perfect lifestyle. In addition to this, the locals are very warm and welcoming, so you can be sure to make a friend or two during your visit.
The Chatham Islands sit pretty on the magical waters of the Southern Pacific Ocean.
If you’re looking for a unique holiday, these islands are the place to visit. They have a magnetic beauty and calm energy that are perfect for a relaxing holiday. Your Chatham Islands holiday will be an adventure full of laughter, discovery, and learning as the mysterious islands welcome you to partake of their secrets.
With that being said, here are some things for you to do and see during your Chatham Islands holiday.
1. Visit The Stunning Admiral Gardens
When you get to the Admiral gardens, you can be sure to get the ultimate experience while bonding with nature. This location is, no doubt, the paramount home for butterflies, bees, and birds. Take time and enjoy the bush and garden walk at your pace and leisure.
But if you’re more of an adventurer, you can wander off by yourself and prepare to be mind blown by your discoveries. If you prefer a guide, one can be made available to you by your accommodation.
Once you’re done with a walk amongst the greenery, you can wind down with a walk through the dunes and relax at Long Beach.
2. Take A Walk Along The Awatotara Bush Coastal Walking Track
This bush Coastal track will be your gateway to the native bush that’s bursting at the seams with exotic birdlife. Some birds you will meet in this location include the tui, red-crowned parakeet, the Chatham Islands pigeon, and fantails.
After interacting with the birds, you can visit the Gap Sanctuary and the Taiko Trust base and check out some local bird and plant species.
3. Visit the Chatham Islands Museum
The Chatham Islands Museum is the gateway to the island’s rich, natural history. The museum was established back in 1971. It received a lot of support from the community and the local council to move from the Waitangi store into a separate museum.
The museum is currently home to a broad collection of archives and photographs, where anyone interested in the Islands’ history would be happy to do some research. Here, you will be privy to some unique fossil and rock collections and some displays of wildlife and rare bounds found on the Islands.
There are also displays of the Moriori culture and some items that represent the early European settlers and visitors.
4. Visit The Chatham Island Food Co.
The Chatham Island Food Co is a family-owned and run seafood business. The business specializes in live and frozen seafood and exports it all over the world. You can book a tour and get to know all about the history of the business and the delicacies created here.
You can also buy seafood at the site or take a guided tour around the facility. During this tour, you will learn how businesses on the island work and some of the challenges they face.
One of the most striking conversations you will be a part of during this guided tour is the story of Delwyn Tuanui, the owner of the company. It is a story about a young man overcoming some hurdles thrown at him while taking over the family farm.
5. Pay Homage to the Basalt Columns
The impressive Basalt Columns are some of the most popular attractions on the Chatham Islands. They are located at Ohira Bay on privately owned land and were formed due to lava flows from volcanos that erupted almost 80 million years ago. These columns were created through the cooling of basalt lava after the eruption.
Basalt lava is a scalding liquid that’s more than 1,000 °C. Once it stopped moving, it began to cool down and formed a solid (rock) made of crystalline minerals. This cooling process resulted in a highly geometrical structure that is impressive to anyone who visits the islands.
If you visit the Basalt Columns, make sure you carry a camera with you: You do not want to miss a chance to get some Instagram-worthy photos to brag to all your followers.
Whether you prefer to go fishing, collect arts and crafts, take in the panoramic scenery, or connect with nature, the Chatham Islands will provide this and more. The local artistry is inspired by the rugged landscapes along the shorelines and the local culture. After immersing yourself in all that the Islands have to offer, you can settle into one of the restaurants and satisfy your hunger with some fresh seafood.