Chatham Islands

Overview

Introduction

If you truly want to get away from it all on an ecotour, you can't get much farther than New Zealand's Chatham Islands—a three-hour small-aircraft flight from Wellington, which is 500 mi/800 km to the northwest. Of the 10 islands, only Chatham and Pitt are populated, but they all offer good beaches, scenic trails, bird-watching, scuba diving (with shipwrecks to investigate) and good fishing.

Ecotours are available if you want to check out the rare flora and fauna of the islands. A small museum in Waitangi (the islands' only town—not to be confused with the village of the same name in the Bay of Islands) displays artifacts of the Moriori, early Polynesian settlers who once populated these islands. Use Waitangi as a base for trips to the smaller islands.

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