If you are looking to stumble upon a remote ocean-bound wilderness that in many respects still feels like it is waiting to be discovered, then you may well be surprised to find out that an opportunity to explore such a place still exists and it is called the Chatham Islands.
Lying about 800km east of the South Island of New Zealand, the Chatham Islands are a truly unique visitor experience and have an abundant array of wildlife and marine species on display together with stunning vistas and welcoming inhabitants.
If you are thinking of visiting the Chatham Islands you may well be able to do so as part of a cruise itinerary and you can check out a range of cruises that cover this beautiful part of the world through a cruise comparison website. Once your trip is arranged you will be no doubt interested to learn about a place that has always been the home of the Moriori.
The very first inhabitants of the Chatham Islands were the Moriori people, who were Polynesians with similar origins the New Zealand Māori. The next group of people to arrive on the islands were the European sealers and whalers and after that, Maori’s from the New Zealand mainland came to settle as well.
When you visit, you will discover and find out about the ancestral history of the island, including that the descendants of the original Moriori still inhabit the Chatham Islands. This fact is celebrated with the Te Kopinga, which is a recently built community centre that reflects a recent resurgence in their culture.
The Great Outdoors
There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors during your time on the Chatham Islands, so whether you like to relax on a deserted beach, take a vigorous hike across wild landscapes, or seek out endemic plant and bird life, these are all viable options on these islands.
A visit by boat to neighboring Pitt Island is something that you should really try to make time for while you are here, as this is considered to be the first inhabited place on the planet. Watching the sun rise in such an important and historical site is definitely a potential bucket list moment.
Your host will be your guide
You will quickly discover that native Chatham Islanders are relaxed and very amenable, and you will also discover that the island operates a host system, which means that if you plan to stay overnight, you will need to book your accommodation ahead of your planned visit.
Once you have made your reservation with your host, they will assume responsibility for looking after you during your time on the island and put you in touch with recognized local tour guides who have the necessary permission to visit the majority of attractions that are on private land.
When you consider that the Chatham Islands are a part of a vast submerged continent known as Zealandia and these remote islands were then uplifted from the surface of the ocean floor about three million years ago, it stands to reason that you are likely to discover some fascinating geology as well as some amazing wildlife.
You will come across many fossils that bear witness to the ancient history of the Chatham Islands and this is a location that has witnessed the evolution of some bird and plant species, with the Chatham Island Black Robin being a perfect example of several well-documented conservation success stories.
Exploring the Chatham Islands is like taking a journey back in time and it will leave you inspired and wanting to visit again to continue your voyage of discovery.
Ryan Posa has made voyages to such spectacular places as Alaska, the South Pacific, Mexico, and New Zealand. His deep passion for the high seas led him to leave his job at Carnival Australia as the District Sales Manager, and establish Cruise Republic in 2008. He now also blogs about the fascinating discoveries he has made at his favourite destinations around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter.