Information aboutPitt Island

Photography by Tania Kemp

Laying just 20 kilometres away from Rekohu is the 16000 acre island of Pitt. With a population of about 40, Pitt is a remote outpost of civilization. The first inhabited place on the planet to see the sunrise, Pitt Island was one of the first places of settlement for early Moriori. Artifacts, remains and hokopapa (oral genealogy) support this.

Information:

The lifestyle of Pitt island today is a wee bit slower than on Rekohu itself, as there are no shops, hotels, motels, or anything. There are plans underway for a 5 room tourist lodge: Flowerpot Lodge, to be commenced in 2008, but at the moment there are no official commercial accommodation providers there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Photography by Tania Kemp

Access to Pitt Island is by light plane, or by commercial fishing craft. There is a small fishing fleet based on Pitt , primarily catching Rock Lobster, or crayfish as it is locally known. The waters surrounding Pitt Island support a wide variety of species and it is particularly popular with commercial divers seeking Paua (Abalone). Information about Pitt Island

         

 Scania J returning home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

 

 

    

      Photography by Tania Kemp

 

More information about Pitt Island:

Trips to Pitt Island are only available as day tours, as there is currently no commercial accommodation providers on the island. Plans are underway for the construction of a 5 room Lodge due to open in 2009.

Day tours travel to Pitt Island with Air Chathams in a Cessna that takes five passengers per trip. These trips can be organised for guests that are staying at Chatham Lodge or Kopinga Marae, including school groups, and tours are run by Pitt Island residents and take in most of the interesting scenes, providing a commentary and a detailed history of the island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Mangere Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jail, Flowerpot Beach,

 Pitt Island

Photography by Tania Kemp

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Cattle muster at Glory, South East Island in the background

Photography by Tania Kemp

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to some Moriori traditions, Pitt Island was the site of first colonisation for Moriori,  and the respected historian, Michael King, agreed that "it is possible that the initial Moriori settlers colonised Pitt Island, before they attempted a landing on Rekohu."

There are many sites of interest around Pitt Island, although few, if any of them have been properly researched. All of these sites are deserving of protection, from livestock and the elements. The Pitt Islanders have been admirable guardians over these sites since 1841.

There are a number of Moriori legends which also feature Rangiauria in them and the story of Koche: "King of Pitt Island" is one that students, parents and teachers would all enjoy.

Check out the English Unit Plans for Myths and Legends: coming soon!

 

Pitt also has an interesting European history, of sealers and whalers, shipwrecks and even smugglers. The first European settler to the island; Frederick Hunt, arrived there about 1841. His descendants still live and farm here today.

The scenery is amazing and every day is different.

Shepherds cottage, Glory Bay, Pitt Island.

Built about 1880

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photography by Tania Kemp

Photography by Tania Kemp

 

There are several thousand acres of reserve on Pitt Island and all Islanders are conscious of the need for conservation.

Additionally, the Elizabeth Ellen Preece Covenant on Pitt is being used to establish a community of Black Robins. This is a predator free zone that teems with birdlife, including Tui and Petrels.

The Black Robin was once the worlds rarest bird, with just one breeding pair left.

Today, on Rangatira (South East) Island, there are now several hundred, with more living on nearby Mangere Island as well.

Information about Pitt Island

Contact Chatham Lodge to arrange your trip to the Chathams and a day tour to Pitt Island, or visit the official Chatham Lodge website here.

Information about Pitt Island

pitt island information

Information about Pitt Island

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All of the photographs on this page were taken by Tania Kemp and have been published with her permission.