The Chatham Islands offers a wealth of opportunity to get back to nature with scenic walking tracks to suit all fitness levels. All walks are conducted with a tour guide with extensive knowledge on the local flora and fauna. Times and distances of the walking tracks vary and the staff at Hotel Chatham are happy to assist you with bookings and information to ensure you find the walking tour to suit your needs.
As walks are over private land, walkers must go with a tour guide. Reserves are open to all.
These walks below can be enjoyed in part or whole depending on fitness, time available and weather.
This track requires a good level of fitness and takes you through regenerating kopi and mahoe forest to the impressive limestone formations within the forest and on the cliff edge. A steep descent takes you to the dunes of Long Beach. Beautiful coastal views on this 1.5 hour loop track.
RANGA IKA WALK
Experience breath-taking views of the southern coastal cliffs with dramatic rock faces plummeting 200 metres into the sea. From the cliff tops you’ll be able to look out across Pitt straight to Pitt Island and Pinnacle Island. Great views can also be seen north to Te Whanga Lagoon and the volcanic basalt cones. This walk is classified as easy to moderate walking on 4WD farm tracks. Walking time is approximately 3.5 hours.
The wind-swept north-eastern coast is a historically significant part of the Kaingaroa area. The one-way Okawa walk begins at Okawa Point, ending at Mission Bay. The Point Munning seal colony is located a further 2km from Mission Bay. The Okawa walk crosses pasture land, goes along the beach and takes in the rocky Okawa and Mission bays. Classed as an easy to moderate walking track. Walking time is approximately 5 hours.
Offering spectacular coastal views of cliff tops created by ancient volcanic activity this is one of the harder walks on the islands but it is well-worth the effort. Walk past Splatter Rock and an Oyster Catcher reserve area on the beach at Mairangi. The Wharekauri walk is best suited to people with a good fitness level. Starting on pasture land, the walk climbs up to coastal cliffs so is classed as a moderate to hard walking track. Walking time is approximately 6.5 hours.
J. M. BARKER (HAPUPU) NATIONAL HISTORIC RESERVE
See an example of mature kopi forest with a dense undergrowth of mahoe and kopi seedlings. This walk is located in one of only two national historic reserves in New Zealand.
Walking time is only about 10 minutes which will take you past the kopi tree rakau momori or carvings, created in pre-European times by Moriori.
NIKAU BUSH SCENIC RESERVE
This area protects the largest stand of Nikau remaining on the main Chatham Island. The Nikau are flowering from December through to January. Walking time is approximately 1.5 hours.