01 Nov

When hear or read about the Chatham Islands, the most attractive findings are those represented by natural features that are located on the Chatham Islands. Today we would like to present you briefly the most important natural elements that you may find in the Chatham Islands.


Chatham Islands geomorphology and hydrography

The Chatham Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean and formed by ten islands, with the biggest ones Pitt Island and Chatham Island, which are separated by the Pitt Strait. The islands are formed along the Chatham Rise and due to the geomorphological processes during the time the islands present a hilly aspect. Geology includes mostly schist and volcanic rocks. The soil is represented by peat on large areas, sands on the beaches, but also more dry soils into the forests. The shorelines present lagoons, beaches and dunes. The highest point on the Chatham Islands has 965 feet in the Maungatere Hill. On the Chatham Islands, there are many lakes and the most important lakes count more than 30 such water bodies. We may mention Lake Marakapia, Lake Omutu, Lake Rakeinui, Lake Koomutu, Lake Rotopararoa, Pakauwera Pond and Lake Taia. The main rivers include the Makara River and the Te Awainanga River. The Te Whanga Lagoon is the biggest lagoon in the Chatham Islands archipelago.


The Chatham Islands flora and fauna

Before the human interventions, most of the islands’ surface was covered with forests, swamp and scrubby heath. Farming activities imposed the change of large areas into pasture and due to this there were certain modifications into the vegetation of the islands. There are many endemic species that are located on the Chatham Islands. Some of the most interesting flora elements include Chatham Islands forget-me-not (Myosotidium hortensia), Chatham Islands kakaha (Astelia chathamica), Chatham Islands Karamu (Coprosma chathamica), Chatham Islands geranium (Geranium traversii), Chatham Island tree daisy (Olearia traversiorum), Cook’s scurvy grass (Lepidium oleraceum) and Chatham Island flax (Phormium chathams).


As regarding the fauna that you will find on the Chatham Islands, there are also many several endemic species. On the seawater of the Chatham Islands you may find mammals such as New Zealand sea lions, whales, seals and dolphins. Birdlife is very rich on the Chatham Islands. You may see endemic species such as the Chatham Island taiko, Black robin, the Chatham Island warbler, Chatham petrel, Chatham Island tui, Chatham albatross and the Chatham Island tomtit.


Natural features as main tourist attractions

Due to their unique characteristics, natural features are the most important tourist attractions for the Chatham Islands. Local geology and geomorphology, endemic species of flora and fauna, all of these are giving the brand of the Chatham Islands. Chatham Islands’ natural elements still represent curiosities for researchers and there are many new discoveries regarding the flora and fauna of the Chatham Islands.

Maybe you should put on your list the Chatham Islands as the next destination for your vacation and discover these great natural attractions.


This is just a brief introduction into the natural features that are belonging to the Chatham Islands. In order to discover them, we invite you to come here and touch them, take photos and observe them.

You know when you feel so passionate about something that you just can’t stop talking about it? You visit somewhere once and fall in love with it forever; I know countless people do it with New York or Paris… but what about somewhere a bit more off the beaten track?

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