Summer Newsletter

Tourism Chatham Islands E-Newsletter
Summer 2022

Kia ora 

Welcome to our summer edition newsletter. The time of year when the pohutukawas are in full bloom and the Island has plenty of warm sunny days. 

Reflecting back on the last year, the Islands have had some major achievements. Firstly, you will notice the new Council and Museum building in the main township of Waitangi. Secondly, the mobile networks are up and running with the Chatham Islands having mobile coverage. Thirdly, the redevelopment of the airport is well underway. 

The tourism sector hasn’t stopped, with many projects being underway or completed. These include the Qualmark certification of several local businesses, installation of public toilets around the island, the first guide training manual, restoration work underway at two category 1 Heritage New Zealand listed sites, the Stone Cottage and Ponga Whare and the inaugural Chatham Islands Festival of Science. 

Chatham Islands Tourism DataLike much of New Zealand, the tourism industry was pretty challenging.

Whilst the country entered into sudden lockdowns and the change to the Covid traffic light system, the year was one of the busiest the Chathams Islands has had in terms of visitor numbers.

The Air Chathams visitor arrivals to the Chatham Islands recorded just under 2,400 visitors, which is up 37% on the previous year (2020) and an 80% increase on the pre Covid-19 times.

This graph is taken from visitor arrivals stats from Air Chathams.


Congratulations – First Two Businesses to Gain Qualmark Status

Qualmark is New Zealand’ s tourism quality assurance trade mark assisting visitors in ensuring quality travelling experiences. Bayview and Skirmish Bay Stay are the first to be confirmed with Qualmark status, with other businesses going through this process and more to be announced shortly.

A huge shout out to Tracey Green from Directional Tourism for her help and support in getting our businesses to this fantastic achievement. 

New Attractions

Kopi Farm Bushwalk

We welcome the Island’s latest visitor attraction.

Visitors can enjoy a guided walk through dense native bush (over 100 years old) with locals John and Bridget Preece.

Highlights include Rautini (Chatham Islands Christmas Tree), Kopi, Karaka, Karamu, Tarihina, Mataipo, Hoho trees and Punga.

Birds are also in abundance including parea (pigeons), Chatham Island fantails, warblers and, if you’re lucky, the Chatham Islands parakeet.

Walks are by appointment only. 

Phone or email Bridget.

Ph: 033050300 or email

Awatotara Cottage

Just opened, this self catering three bedroom cottage with all amenities is tucked away on the South Coast, a 25 minute (17km) drive from Waitangi.

Wake up to the call of the Chatham Island tui and watch the native parea (pigeon) graze in the paddocks.

The cottage is adjacent the Awatotara private reserve and walking track featured below.

Awatotara Bush Coastal Walking Track 

The Awatotara Bush Coastal Walking Track takes you through native bush bursting with bird life (including the Chatham Islands parea (pigeon), tui and red-crowned parakeet (to name a few) out to the rugged coast line.

Please prearrange with Liz and Bruce before you go. 

Contact Liz and Bruce Tuanui 
Ph 03 3050 351
Email – 

The New Chatham Islands Museum

chatham island museum

The new Museum is about to open with a transition exhibition.  This is a real credit to all who have been involved in this project for several years.

chatham islands museum lightsPut your Name on a Spotlight – The new Chatham Islands Museum needs help to purchase 60 spotlights for the exhibition gallery. The spotlights are high quality, individually dimmable and will show the gallery items in an attractive but controlled way, meeting modern museum lighting standards.

A donation of $300 will ensure your name appears on our “Spotlight Sponsorship Board” within the reception area.

Please send your donation to The Chatham Islands Museum & Cultural Heritage Charitable Trust  Bank number: 01-1192-0020122-00. 

Use the code ‘Spotlight’ and give your Name as the reference with your donation.

Email us your contact details for a charitable donation receipt. Donations are tax deductable. We will add your name to the Spotlight Sponsorship Board unless you wish to remain anonymous.


Chatham Islands Festival of Science

For over 150 years the Chatham Islands have been visited by international scientists to study the geology of Gondwana, observe weather patterns, map the solar system, monitor seismic movement, and much more. 

The Chatham Islands Festival of Science aims to draw locals and visitors to enjoy several days of science-inspired events including talks, field visits and panels with world-renowned scientists. This year’s celebration covers topics from ecology, weather, geology, and future of the environment. Speakers include leading geologist Hamish Campbell (GNS Science), meteorologist Lisa Murray (MetService), volcanologist Graham Leonard (GNS Science); Māori food researcher Joe McLeod and science historian David Johnston (Massey University). Youth and family-oriented activities include hands-on workshops exploring a variety of subjects.

Mark your diaries now for 16-21 August and register your interest in attending with

Enjoy the short video from Hamish Campbell’s  field trip last year.

Important Advice for Visitors

Respecting the Kaimoana

Whilst we love sharing our island’s history and culture with our visitors, we do have pressures that are being managed. This includes the excessive taking of kaimoana, especially paua. They are an important local food resource that we don’t want to see depleted. There is also a rāhui in place around Owenga. This prohibits  the taking paua.

If you are visiting the Island to enjoy these delicacies, we recommend joining a fishing charter, enjoying the seafood on menus and purchasing some from the factories to take home. The fishing charters, dining options and the factories are found in the tourism brochure on our website.

For popping up a notice with important visitor information


Voluntary Visitor Levy

We invite all visitors to donate $25 to Tourism Chatham Islands as a contribution to help assist us enhance the visitor experience on the island. Following the financial support we received from this last year, Tourism Chatham Islands invested $15,000 in toilet infrastructure.

We believe $25 is a small amount to request and it goes a long way to helping provide these important assets.

ANZ Account:  06 0845  00796434002
Particulars: Your name
Reference: Donation

Also, if you manage a tour company, please contact us to discuss joining the operator  project.


Covid19 chatham-islands red light

The Chatham Islands are part of New Zealand and follow the protocols and rulings in place in relation to Covid – 19. Visitors are required to adhere to the current traffic light systems. Please wear your masks and keep everyone safe. If you are unsure of the requirements please check the tab on our website for regular updates.  




Chatham Islands Health – some important information from the team at the Medical  Centre

For medical emergencies on the Chatham Islands please call 03 3050 035. This number is monitored 24/7.

Doctor/ Nurse consultation costs: Doctor $75, Nurse $30 

Please bring enough personal medications to last your trip and longer. 

Some walks are on uneven surfaces so please ensure you have suitable footwear and walking accessories (walking sticks) with you.


Mangere Island Photo by Robbie Lanauze


Wherever you are take care and stay safe. 
Kia Kaha

Tourism Chatham Islands