The Chatham Islands are an archipelago in the southern Pacific with around 650 inhabitants. The archipelago lies near the Date Line, approximately 700 kilometers east of mainland New Zealand.

Of the 11 islands in the Chatham group, only two are inhabited, the main island Chatham Island and Pitt Island. Pitt Island is the first inhabited place on earth where you can see the sun rise in the morning.

The other nine uninhabited islands include The Sisters, Mangere Island, The Castle, Forty-Fours, The Pyramid, Round Island, Little Mangere Island, South East Island and Star Keys.

The flora and fauna on the Chatham Islands are very special due to their remoteness. There are many rare species of birds, ducks, chickens and penguins, as well as unique species of flowers, trees and bushes.

The capital of the Chatham Islands is Waitangi with around 350 inhabitants, located on the main island.

The economy of the Chatham Islands is based primarily on sheep breeding, agriculture, fishing and lobster farming. Around 7,000 tourists visit the two inhabited islands every year.

In February 2019 I visited the Chatham Islands for three days. From the New Zealand capital Wellington, I took the two-hour flight to the main island with “Air Chathams”. During this time I stayed in the best hotel on the island, the “Hotel Chatham”, which, to my great surprise, was fantastic accommodation. The hotel's facilities were almost like a 5-star hotel, and its own restaurant was top class.

The somewhat strange Chatham Islands are actually completely different from the rest of the Pacific islands. The summer temperatures there very rarely exceed 18 degrees Celsius, tropical plants such as coconut palms or banana trees cannot be found there and the landscape largely consists of barren pasture areas. The island's roads are mainly made of gravel and only a few kilometers are paved. In terms of landscape, Chatham is more comparable to the British Channel Islands than to the typical neighboring Pacific states.

Since there isn't much to see on the entire island apart from a seal colony and some special rock formations, the Chatham Islands are probably one of the boring holiday destinations. Nevertheless, this travel destination is particularly popular with older people because of the mild temperatures and the truly fantastic fresh air.

But the Chatham Islands definitely won a title because the island has the highest cigarette prices in the world. A pack of cigarettes in the supermarket there costs the equivalent of around 23 euros, but there were still a lot of smokers there, which is actually unbelievable.

As always, however, every single travel destination has something special. So I spent about three exciting hours at the harbor and watched the fishing boats come in. A boat was loaded with around 200 huge lobsters, which are exported to Asia for around 200 US dollars each. They were really magnificent specimens and it was unique for me to hold one of these lobsters in my hand.

Another fishing boat came into the harbor with several kingfish and cod, which were then immediately filleted and prepared for sale. The many seagulls, which were already circling around the boat in large numbers, were particularly happy about the leftover fish.

During this time on the fishing boat, a really big spectacle took place. After the fisherman threw fish skin that was useless to him into the water, a seagull immediately pounced on the delicacy. However, a lurking octopus (octopus) was already waiting for her and holding her with its many tentacles. Now there was a fierce battle that lasted about 15 minutes, which I was fortunately able to capture with many impressive photos and videos. The seagull almost looked like the big loser in this fight before it suddenly managed to free itself from the octopus's tentacles and took off. So I actually witnessed this unique natural spectacle, which will definitely always remind me of the Chatham Islands from now on.

The archipelago is a travel destination that is not exactly suitable for a traditional vacation, but can be worthwhile for nature lovers.