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Northern Buller's Albatross (Thalassarche (bulleri) platei) near the Chatham Islands, New Zealand.

Chatham Isles, New Zealand

The Chatham Islands mark the easternmost point of New Zealand and the first inhabited place on Earth to see the sunrise each day. This remote archipelago, located around 500 miles east of the country’s South Island, comprises two main inhabited islands, Chatham and Pitt, along with nine smaller isles and a handful of outliers. The Chathams are a birder’s paradise, home to more than 50 native bird species — 18 of which appear nowhere else, including rare eponymous albatross, petrel, taiko, robin and parakeet. Nearly all northern royal albatross breed on the islands, as do large colonies of Buller’s albatross, northern giant petrels, and fairy prions. Skuas, sooty shearwaters, terns, and various species of gulls are also seen at sea, while the islands’ wetlands and forest offer sanctuary to black swans, mallard and grey ducks, pareas and warblers. The Moriori people were the first to inhabit the Chathams, arriving around 500 years ago, and their descendants still live here. You can learn about their ancient culture and covenant of peace at the albatross-shaped Kopinga Marae on Chatham Island.