Access to Private Land and Entry Fees – Unlike mainland New Zealand, most of the Islands, including the beaches, is privately owned land. Most attractions are also on private land and access to them requires permission and payment of an entry fee. This must be prearranged and your host will be able to assist. Visitors are asked not to venture onto any private land without permission.
Natural and Archaeological Taonga – The Chatham Islands are rich in flora and fauna, geological and archaeological treasures – for example native birds, fossils, and sites related to Moriori settlement, all of which are protected by law. These also hold special value to Islanders. Visitors are requested please not to remove these.
No Camping Facilities – There are no camping grounds on the Islands. Accommodation must be booked prior to arrival.
Fishing The Chatham Islands are renowned for their abundant seafood and wild game. We ask that you help us preserve this valuable resource by taking only what you need for a meal and purchase what you want to take home, from one of the local processors. We also encourage visitors to leave the paua beds for the locals as they are an important local food source that we don’t want to see depleted. Once again, if you want to take some home with you, the local processors have very competitive prices. There is a closed season to take crayfish (recreational and commercial) – 1 March to 30 April each year.
If you run out of time to catch some fresh seafood for yourself, you will always find quality, fresh Chatham Island seafood on the menus at most accommodation providers.
Biosecurity – The Chatham Islands are free of many pests and diseases found on the mainland, including varroa. Visitors are asked to help keep it this way. Please check footwear, bags, socks, coats, other clothing, sports and other equipment is free of dirt, seeds, plant debris and anything that can crawl or fly. Please also clean all your gear before arrival. Honey cannot be brought onto the Islands, however, honey lovers won’t be disappointed, we have our own specialty Chatham Island products.
Medical and Safety – The Chatham Islands Health Centre, in Waitangi has a resident Doctor and small Pharmacy. Ring 3050 035 if an ambulance is required. While medical care on the Chatham Islands is good, emergencies will be airlifted to mainland New Zealand. Be sure to bring your own medication with you, including extra in case of delayed travel.
Opening Hours – Many of the attractions, cafes and galleries have designated days and hours of operating. Please check with the operators or your hosts first.
Weather and Clothing – Summer has lovely clear, warm days while winter may bring occasional mild frosts, but the Chatham Island weather may be best described as variable. Most days see the sun and temperatures tend to be mild. It can be windy and cold at times. Annual rainfall is about 1,000mm but tends to fall as showers rather than torrential rain. Be prepared for four seasons in one day, bring your holiday clothes, a warm jacket, wet weather gear, and sunscreen.
Water Conservation – Water is often in short supply and restrictions are sometimes put in place, particularly in summer. Please help us to conserve it at all times with showering, flushing etc.