Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

God must have made the Chathams last. He had a wheelbarrow full of everything left over, and used them up here.

quote from an Island farmer









Volcanic cones dominate the landscape









Kaiangaroa Harbour









Point Munning









Point Munning


















Giant Petrel









Ocean Mail Beach









Waitangi, the main harbour









Chatham Island Oystercatchers









Wharekauri, Fishers and Farmers









Pastures and Volcanic Cones









Walking down to breakfast









Waitangi Wharf









Owenga Boats









Flower Pot Bay, Pitt Island









Our Lady of the Antipodes Church









Pitt Island Sheep









Pitt Island Sheep









South East Island









Hakepa, Walk ‘Em Up









Hakepa, Summit Sculptures









Hakepa, Summit Looking North









Waihere Bay, 









Big and Little Mangere Islands 









Big and Little Mangere Islands 









Eroded Rock Formations


















Returning Fishing Boats, Flower Pot Bay


















Big Mangere and part of Waihere Bay









 Waihere Bay, with Hakepa on the far right









Little and Big Mangere









Feral Pitt Island Sheep









Feral Pitt Island Sheep


















Windswept remnant forest









Pitt Island landscape









Waipaua Reserve









Negotiating a Bog









Nikau Palms









Nikau Palms, and volcanic cones









Chatham Island Shag









Chatham Island Shag









Abandoned Surf Boat, used for landing cargo at Glory Bay









South East Island









The Pyramid









Hakepa from above Glory Cove









West, toward Cannister Cove









Paua Hunters









Chatham Island Oyster Catcher









South East Island, The Pyramid and Waipaua Bay









Waipaua Stream









Flower Pot Bay









Finished for the day, bring the boat out of the water









Farmland, Waitangi Tuku Road









Port Hutt









Peat Lands









Waitangi West









Waitangi West Beach, North Coast



























Stone Cottage

Chathams Holiday

The Chatham Islands had been on our bucket list for several years. We’d planned on going a couple of years ago, but life got in the way. So this year we finally made it.

It was all a bit frenetic, as we had builders turn up to reclad and double glaze Kowhai Lane Lodge, and we were worried that they might still be here when we were booked to go. But they flew through the work, and finished a week before the “OFF”. And as a bonus I had completed all of the new painting… had you asked me 6 months ago whether I would ever consider painting a 5 bedroom two story house I would have fallen about laughing.

But the down side was we were so busy that doing some background reading just fell by the wayside. And we both recommend that anyone planning a holiday there (or anywhere ???) do at least a little background research.

We both absolutely loved our time there. The scenery was spectacularly different, our accommodation faultless, and everyone we met  could not have been more helpful and welcoming. 

As flights from Christchurch are on a Tuesday. The plan was to have a week away, The first 3 nights on Pitt Island, and the last 4 on Chatham Island. The weather decided otherwise, so we had 3 days on Chatham, followed by 2 on Pitt and a final 2 nights on Chatham. 

Day One …….
Day Two …….
Day Three ….
Day Four ……
Day Five ……
Day Six ……..

Iris & I loved the Chathams. We will be going back.

Things to note !! :-

  • There is NO cell phone coverage on the Chathams… Hotel Chathams and Flower Pot Bay Lodge have excellent telephone & internet to the mainland. Although I once had a call delayed due to overloading
  • The climate can be boisterous. layers and waterproof outer layers are a must. Also a hat and gloves
  • Good hiking boots are a must. There are lots of bogs, and they will give you wet feet
  • Make sure you have GOOD travel insurance. We insured with 1Cover Ltd, and in the fine print I missed that they did NOT cover us if travel was disrupted due to flight postponement. Strange, as we thought that would be a given, that insurance would cover flight disruption. As it happened our return flights were disrupted, and re booking cost us over $1000, although we hope that our AirNZ insurance will cover this. So we would NOT in any way recommend 1Cover.
  • We found the Islands very affordable, considering their remote location.
  • Pitt Island is a must, even a day trip, but longer will be much better


Discover and Explore the Chatham Island …. Lawrie & Powell …. ISBN 978-0-9871742-4-6
Chatham Islands A Pictorial Journey …. Powell, Underwood & Jacobson …. ISBN 978-0-987142-3-9
True Tails of the Chatham Islands …. Chatham Islands Heritage & Restoration Trust …. ISBN 978-0-473-33425-3

Links……. Pitt Island

Travel and Accommodation Links

We flew from Christchurch with Air Chathams 
We had initially planned to go directly to Pitt Island as soon as we landed, the weather decided otherwise. But we found that our Pitt Island Hosts had re-jigged our bookings with the Hotel Chatham, who met us when we landed and had us booked into their Travellers Rest”

Hotel Chatham

Sails Ashore Chathams Holiday
Travellers Rest
The Travellers Rest was delightful. Our room looked out over the Harbour, and was maybe 2 minutes stroll down to the main Hotel for meals. Which were excellent. We hired a vehicle from the hotel when we needed one, which was virtually anytime we left the immediate village. The Chathams are almost half the land area of Stewart Island, and most destinations are way beyond any day walk. We hired a guide from the Hotel one day, and Paige was perfect. She has a great combination of knowledge of history, the environment, local “colour” and a great sense of humour. Some destinations are with a guide only !! Lunch was provided. When we handed our vehicle back they asked us where we had been, and a small charge was added. This went to the property concerned… a great idea.

Pitt Island

Flower Pot Bay Lodge

We were initially to fly to Pitt Island for 3 nights, but weather decided otherwise. We were delayed a couple of days, and actually went down by Fishing Boat from Owenga. Pitt Island Lodge was fabulous, and Bernie and Brent everything hosts should be. Our room overlooked Flower Pot Bay. The meals were fabulous, blue cod the first night, Pitt island mutton the second. Pitt Island mutton is to die for, and if we had a couple of acres on Stewart Island I would be importing a small flock. Brent was our guide while there, which was all part if the package … transport to and from the Chatham Island, Dinner Bed & Breakfast, and two days of tours. On Pitt you really have to have a guide. Even on a day trip, whether  arriving by plane or boat you just would not see anything. And Brent has access to what seems like everywhere .. most of the Island is private farmland. His knowledge is overwhelming, Bernie’s family were the first Europeans to settle Pitt, and her stories were fascinating, and Brent expands on this with the history, management and natural history stories that made Pitt Island come alive for us.