Activities

Guests at Henga Lodge have a range of activities available to them.  From sedate and peaceful meandering bushwalks in the 460 acre scenic reserve at the rear of the lodge, or, for the more physically adventurous, a couple of hours stroll along the slightly more challenging track that wends its way down to and along the beach before making its way back up through limestone outcrops and regenerating Kopi forest to the lodge. If you aren’t already busy on a guided tour or walk somewhere, then wander across the 900 acre Henga Farm and check out the birdlife around the adjacent Lake Marakapia or over to the edge of  Te Whaanga Lagoon.  Furthermore, right on our doorstep is our new Moriori Ethnobotanical Garden (MEG) where over a kilometre of kopi (karaka) and plants indigenous to Moriori are under careful restoration and cultivation.  This is a world first for Moriori people and a world exclusive.  Access is only with permission.

If its one of those rare days when the beach is too rough for walking along, then a stroll along the shores of Te Whaanga Lagoon,  fossicking for fossilised sharks teeth, or studying the millions of shells, is a great way to chill out. The Chathams is one of those few remaining places where you can walk for kilometres along white sandy beaches and only have to share it with the birds.

Te Whaanga is a very special place on these very special islands. Locals carefully manage its resources as it is abundant with kaimoana (food). Whitebait, flounder, eel, duck and swan are found all around the lagoon. Historically Te Whaanga provided a means to quickly travel the majority of the length of the island. Today, it is used for recreation and food gathering – no commercial activities are permitted on the waters.

The sad thing about the beauty of Te Whaanga, is that you can only indulge in lazing around on the beaches, swimming, snorkelling, fishing, and kayaking when you are having break from seeing all of the hundreds of other amazing and unique attractions on the islands.

History: Where else in the world can you visit a Moriori marae, a Moriori Ethnobotanical Garden (MEG) or a National Historic Reserve such as Hapupu with the Moriori tree carvings? Where else can you visit a statue built to commemorate the last ‘known full-blooded’ member of a race of people? As it turns out Tame Horomona Rehe, (also known as Tommy Solomon) was not the last of the Moriori, as he and others have left descendants (now several thousand people) who can claim Moriori descent.

Where else can you catch blue cod, shark, or terakihi from the rocks? Where can you go to see Chatham Islands Black Robin, Kakariki, Hopo (Albatross) and rare and endangered plants like the Moriori Flax (Chatham Island Flax), Koromiko, Speargrasses, not to mention the Red Admiral butterfly and other insects and lichens that abound here.

There are walkways all over the island and most of them are available for public access, providing that the landowners are notified. Henga Lodge arranges all of those details for you and will organise transport and picnic lunches as part of the organised tours. There are a few attractions that require a fee for access and these will also be covered as part of a package tour at Henga Lodge. Independent travelers can also take advantage of these arrangements by staying at Henga Lodge and getting the managers; Lorraine or Kelvin to organise a tour itinerary for you.  They will organise all of the details for you and if suitable, will include you in with a current tour group.

DOC walkways

Henga Scenic Reserve: Right at the back door!  The entranceway to the Henga Scenic Reserve walkways is on the edge of the Lodge lawn.

Nikau Bush Conservation Area: 20 minutes by vehicle from the Lodge is this truly beautiful conservation area, abundant with Chatham Island Nikau palms in a lush and thriving environment overlooking Te Whaanga Lagoon.

Hapupu National Historic Reserve: There is nothing to compare this exceptionally spectacular and mystical reserve with. Steeped in Moriori history and imbued with an aura of peace and dignity, the spirituality of Hapupu is impossible to ignore. This is a “special place” and all visitors are taken aback at the significance and the impact of this reserve.

Tikitiki Hill: Just a short stroll from town, this walk is popular with visitors.

Pitt Island Sightseeing Tours

Take a day trip to Pitt Island and enjoy the best of the scenery there. Have a guided day trip around the “first place to see the sun rise,” with Pitt Islanders Brett or Bernie in their comfortable luxury 4×4 vehicles. See how people really live in an isolated community.

Flights to Pitt Island are with Air Chathams and can be booked through Henga Lodge. There are day fishing trip options with Cat o Nine Fishing and Charters and these also need to be booked through Henga Lodge