Our Tour

All-Inclusive Packages

Experience eight days in one of New Zealand’s most remote and unique locations! The Chatham Islands are the closest most New Zealanders can get to international travel without packing their passport, situated 800km east of New Zealand’s South Island.
Our all-inclusive package includes:

A $300 deposit is required to confirm your booking. This deposit is fully refundable up until the due date. Non-refundable balance due at that time.                                                                                                                      (“Due Date” is normaly approx 45 days prior to departure)

 

8-day, 7-night tour prices from (per person):

Hotel upgrade options:
(all packages come with a standard single room with shared facilities)

Tour Itinerary

This is a preliminary itinerary, and due to weather, tides, and other factors, activities may not necessarily be in this order. However at tours end we endeavour to have accomplished the entire itinerary.

(Activities may be deleted or added too, at guides discretion on the day.)

Day One

 

  • Check-in, Domestic Terminal at Airport, one hour before departure.
  • All bags will be named and tagged at check-in to enable Hotel Chathams to place them in your room awaiting your arrival. Please keep anything out of your bag that you may wish to use during the day, e.g. camera, shoes, jacket etc. You won’t see your luggage until this evening.

Please don’t check in until you have met your Tour Leader, so that you can be accounted for, and get your name tag & luggage label.

 

  • The Chathams are part of New Zealand so there are no border controls or formalities on arrival. You could however bring your passport (even an old one) in the hope of getting a CHATHAM ISLAND franking stamp from the hotel.
  • During the flight you may like to put your watches forward. The Chathams are 45 minutes ahead of NZ time (but 20 years behind the times).
  • Due to our very changeable weather, please pack your day bags for four seasons in one day. Comfortable footwear is recommended as you will be crossing over farmland. The water is fine for refilling your water bottles.
  • A notice board will be put up every night, with hints on your next day’s adventure.
  • At the hotel, check in and freshen up for Dinner at 6:00 pm. Retire to the bar, mix with the locals and relax ‘til the small hours.
    • Wi-Fi code is available at the lounge bar.
    • If Wi-Fi is in your unit, the code will be printed on the back off the Wi-Fi.

 

Another Day

  • Continental or Cooked breakfast 7.00 am.

(Optional Activities are weather permitting)

  • Day tour out to Pitt Island ($450 per person). Book on the day at the hotel.
  • Please be mindful; if you go to Pitt Island you may forgo a day’s activities on Chatham.

Pitt Island involves a lot of variables. I let the hotel look after this 100% as they are in constant communication with Pitt Island. After you arrive on the Chathams, mention your interest at the hotel office.

  • You might get there.
  • You might be able to fly.
  • You might have to go by boat.
  • The weather might allow it to happen.
  • You might not get there at all.
  • On the other hand, you might just strike it right.
  • If you can’t get there, you might just have to come back on another tour.
  • Pitt Island is always a big MIGHT.
  • It’s a great place to visit if you can.
  • Optional activities (subject to minimum number and weather permitting).

    The hotel has its own boat, the 40 ft Nancy Kay. Up to 12 people at a time can enjoy 2-3 hrs of Chatham Island deep sea fishing, hand lining for Blue cod and Hapuka. Weather permitting, this option is complementary.  All fish generally comes back to the hotel and frozen in packs for pax to take home on the last day. Additional charters are available for up to eight keen fisher- people @ $200 pp for two to three hours. However, please note that five blue cod and one hapuka pp is the limit on these charters.

    • Times for fishing are tide dependent and on number of pax going, we can do 3 trips on same day, each going for 2-3 hours
    • Extra, fresh “free flow” blue cod can be bought at $65 per 2 kg to bring home.
    • Toni will have got numbers of persons going and arranged the fishing trip the night before.

    Overall Catch Limits:

    The following is hereby agreed by the signatories to this MOU:

    The maximum take to be adopted in the interim until the legislation is in place is as follows:

    Species Daily Catch Limit

    • Blue cod 5
    • Hapuka 2
    • Paua 5
    • Rock lobster 2
    • Kina 10

    Accumulation is all at the one-day limit

    Messaging to Visitors

    The following messaging is adopted and promoted.

    Only catch what you can eat. Catch for a feed, not the freezer.

    Visitors should buy their seafood directly from the local fish processing factories or your host.

  • Those who haven’t gone fishing will have had time to look around “Downtown Waitangi” with a visit to the museum and shop (and have your passport stamped). Please note the large “Welcome Display” at the Museum, is proudly sponsored by “Merv’s Chatham Island Tours”.

Another Day

Kaingaroa – northern part of the Chathams  

  • Continental or Cooked breakfast 7.00 am.

Depart hotel by bus

  • Drive out to to Splatter Rock. These rocks on the western end of Wharekauri Beach are from “Middle Earth” and the metamorphic glass in them sparkles in the sun.

The farm we travel through is Wharekauri Farm Station. It is 28,000 acres in extent. There are 40 miles of fencing, 12,000 sheep and 260 acres under crop.

  • Ocean Mail Reserve. Continuing to Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve we take a boardwalk and wander through this wetland area.
  • J M Barker Reserve (Hapupu) Tree Carvings, Dendrogliphs (tree carvings)

At Hapupu Historic Reserve we discover another unique archaeological site.  Carved into the bark of kopi (karaka) trees within the reserve are Moriori tree carvings – known as dendroglyphs. They are among the little evidence of pre-contact Moriori culture remaining on the island. The last remaining trees were expected to die and disappear between 2015 and 2017. However they are still there in sad shape.

  • We also visit Broughton Landing, an old mission and whaling station, and the farm “Mission Station” owned by the late Jim Muirson. Jim had 1,400 hectares, running 3,000 ewes and 350 cows. This is where we will be able to view the remains of a wrecked RNZAF Short Sunderland and a newly arrived Fokker Friendship, in the process of preservation. This particular Sunderland aircraft provided an aviation lifeline to the island until it was holed by a rock while taking off from the Te Whanga Lagoon in 1959.
  • We travel across many paddocks to reach the huge fir seal colony at Point Munning.
  • Back to the hotel, check in and freshen up for dinner at 6:00 pm.
  • Retire to the bar, mix with the locals and relax ‘til the small hours.

Another Day

  • Continental or Cooked breakfast 7:00 am.
  • Bus will leave the hotel with everybody on board.
  • This morning we journey down to the southwestern part of the island where we visit Awatotora Reserve. This is an area of regenerating native bush, and home of the Chatham Island wood pigeon (parea), which we hope to spot.
  • Bus for Blind Jim’s Creek (fossilized shark teeth)

On the shores of beautiful Te Whanga lagoon, near Blind Jim’s Creek, careful fossicking is likely to be rewarded by the discovery of fossilised shark teeth. Around 30 million years old, these incredibly ancient objects are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth but can be found in the Chatham Islands. To find a tooth from a creature that was eating fish long before the first primate – let alone the first human – walked the earth is amazing. I am sure that by the time you leave Te Whanga Lagoon, you will all be in possession of one or many of these prized ancient fossils.

  • Nikau Reserve

Nikau Bush is a 19-hectare reserve located 1.5 km north of Blind Jim’s. It conserves broadleaf forest with a fine stand of nikau palms, the best on the island. This is the only palm native to the Chatham Islands, an even more impressive sight when flowering and bearing fruit.

  • BBQ picnic lunch and a cup of tea or coffee on the way
  • Running southwest of Waitangi, the Tuku road provides views of rich farmlands and shoal coastal waters. The stunning Tuku Reserve lies  in the valley, a great place for viewing  parea, the Chatham Island pigeon, and other bird life
  • Back to the hotel. Check in and freshen up for dinner at 6:00 pm.

Retire to the bar, mix with the locals and relax ‘til the small hours.

Another Day

Southeast and the Owenga fishing settlement

  • Continental or Cooked breakfast 7:00 am
  • Short walk and familiarisation tour of “Downtown Waitangi” with a visit to the Museum and shop, and have your passport stamped.
  • Depart for our journey out to the southeast and fishing settlement of Owenga.
  • The first stop is the Moriori Kopinga Marae, sited on the hilltop at Te Awatea. This is the only Moriori marae in New Zealand sited on the hilltop at Te Awatea. Kopinga Marae, shaped like an albatross when viewed from the air, continues to amaze visitors. Learn the culture, learn about the History of the first inhabitants fo the Island. Panoramic views across lake Huro to Waitangi and across Te Whanga to its entrance at Te Awapatiki
  • Tommy Solomon Statue at Manakau, Owenga

Tommy Solomon (7 May 1884 to 19 March 1933), is believed by most to have been the last full-blooded  Moriori, the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands.

  • Kopi Farm

Enjoy a few hours with Bridget and John Preece. They have a lovely bush walk and will talk you through their journey to build a TV1 Grand Designs house.

  • Return to the hotel for a day’s de-brief at the bar.

Another Day

Waitangi West

  • Continental or Cooked breakfast 7:00 am.
  • A bus will leave the hotel with everybody on board. We travel “out west” to Waitangi West. Here we will enjoy a packed lunch and a cup of tea or coffee. We travel over part of the Waitangi West Station, consisting of 3,412 hectares carrying 10,000 sheep. Recently the station was bought by a Chinese buyer for $5,000,000.

Stone Cottage (under renovation and possibly not open) and Maunganui  Bluff

  • The cottage was built between 1866 and 1868 for the Moravian missionaries who arrived in the Chathams in 1843. These German missionaries made no converts, but had a significant input into the history and lifestyle of the Chathams. They introduced large-scale horticulture, sheep farming, shipbuilding and literacy. The cottage was built largely of local stone and timber, reflecting the missionaries’ attitudes. They were committed to the idea of being self-reliant in their own lives and, as an example to others, used only local materials.
  • We then visit the safest fishing harbour with the most shipwrecks on the island, at Port Hutt.
  • Our next stop is the amazing Basalt Columns at Ohira Bay.

Over farmland down to Ohira Bay lie massive olivine basalt columns, part of lava flows dated nearly 80 million years ago. They comprise an interesting geological formation    a series of pentagonal-shaped volcanic rock columns on the shoreline. They are not found anywhere else on the island and in only two other places in the world  ̶. Giant’s Causeway, one in Northern Ireland and one in Scotland.

  • We stop of on the way home at Admiral Farm, named after the abundant butterfly.

This is a fourth-generation Chathams property, owned by the Croon family, with a gorgeous garden featuring the eerie skeletons of dead kopi trees and great drifts of the stunning Chatham Island forget-me-not. Lois and Val Croon will be in attendance. Complimentary drinks and wine will be provided.

  • Return to the hotel for a day’s debrief at the bar.

Day 8
(Departure Day)

  • Continental or Cooked breakfast 7:00 am
  • Your bus will leave the hotel at 7:30am for the airport.

The only extra that you may have to pay for on the Chathams will be your “bar tab” souvenirs or fishing trip. It would be appreciated if this can be done the night before departure.

They say you should see your own country before you rave about places you have visited around the world. The Chathams prove this to be true. When you arrive you feel you are in the New Zealand of 40 years ago. The abundance of seafood (we are talking crayfish, paua, groper and blue cod) makes you wonder why you have to go so long between bites in other parts of the country.

Please note there is of course no guarantee to the above.
The accommodation at Hotel Chathams and the Travellers Rest put some of our 4 to 5-star mainland hotels to shame.

Optional Activities
NOTE – only available if weather permits.

Upcoming Tours Dates

Tour #
51
0 (Full)

DEPARTING FROM

Christchurch
Arriving to Chatham
FROM CHATHAM
Departing

Arriving to

Christchurch
Tour #
52
8 days & 7 nights
6

DEPARTING FROM

Christchurch
Arriving to Chatham
FROM CHATHAM
Departing

Arriving to

Christchurch
Tour #
53
20

DEPARTING FROM

Wellington
Arriving to Chatham
FROM CHATHAM
Departing

Arriving to

Wellington
Tour #
54
20

DEPARTING FROM

Christchurch
Arriving to Chatham
FROM CHATHAM
Departing

Arriving to

Christchurch
Tour #
56
8 days & 7 nights
20

DEPARTING FROM

Wellington
Arriving to Chatham
FROM CHATHAM
Departing

Arriving to

Wellington