Tourism Chatham Islands (TCI) represents the tourism industry stakeholders on the Chathams and part of that role is to make sure that you get the right information to help you decide to come and have a look at these beautiful islands on the doorstep of New Zealand.

The Chatham Islands lies just 860 kilometres to the east of Christchurch and consists of a small group of 11 islands. They range in size from just a few hectares, to the main Chatham Island at just over 920 square kilometres. These islands are New Zealand’s most easterly territory. The time zone on the Chatham Islands is 45 minutes ahead of mainland New Zealand. There are about 600 people living on the Chatham Islands, including 40 or so people on Pitt Island. The islands support a thriving business community and a unique way of life.

The Chathams have a range of stunning landscapes for you to admire. Ranging from rocky coastlines, volcanic peaks, limestone and basalt cliffs to swampland and lakes and endless expanses of golden or white sandy beaches.  There is certainly plenty for you to see and do.

The economy of the Chatham Islands is heavily dependent on fishing, farming and tourism. Most of the land on the Chatham Islands is either privately owned, or owned by the Crown. 

There is cell phone coverage over much of the islands. But it always pays when you are out and about, to make sure you let someone know where you are going, and when you are expecting to return, as it is easy to lose track of time on these magical islands.

There are a full range of medical/health services available on the Chathams. The Chatham Islands Hospital (medical centre) in Waitangi provides  comprehensive range of health services and is staffed by a GP and Registered Nurses. In addition, Maori Community Health provides some services in the community.

There are a variety of sporting and recreational clubs on the Chatham Islands including netball, rugby, touch rugby, darts, golf and a gun club.

The Chatham Islanders

The majority of long-term Island residents today can claim either Moriori, Maori, or European ancestry, and in some cases any combination of those. The original inhabitants of these islands were the Moriori. In 1790 Europeans stumbled upon the islands, with drastic consequences and that was followed in 1835 with the arrival of Maori.  

Today, both Moriori and Maori have cultural bases here and partnership with local and government authorities across a range of areas. 

As it is in other parts of mainland New Zealand, housing is at a premium here on the Chathams. The shortage here can be attributed to the availability and cost of land and also the cost of freight for building materials. Freight alone can account for as much as 40% on top of normal construction costs.

About Us Chatham Islands stargazing

The costs of freight impacts on the price of groceries, fuel and electricity, compared to mainland NZ.

Each region of the Chatham Islands has its own unique features and flora and fauna and these islands are home to some of the world’s rarest species of plants, insects and birds. 

The Chatham Islands are the first inhabited place on Earth to greet the new day. With such a rich cultural heritage, this is a holiday not just about places, but also about people. Take the time to discover the history about this ancestral home of the Moriori people. Learn from the landscapes as they reveal and tell their stories through the many sites of cultural significance.

A holiday on the Chatham Islands is a journey of discovery.

With an economy reliant on commercial fishing, the visit is not complete without dining at the fisherman’s table while enjoying the generous hospitality of the Chatham Islanders. Accommodation providers can be located from the menu at the top of most pages.

Local Time

The Chatham Islands is the first inhabited place in the world to see the rising sun each day. Local time is 45 minutes ahead of mainland New Zealand and observes the same daylight savings start and finish dates.

Dont wait too long…

Come on over today to see a unique corner of New Zealand and discover for yourself the Chatham Islands.

A wee reminder though, that in order to film anything for commercial purposes on public conservation land you must have a concession from DOC. This includes activities such as making a documentary, movie or advertisement. Please visit the following link for more information