Despite their small area, the Chatham Islands host diverse and abundant fossils. Fossil assemblages of Permian to Late Cretaceous age preserved in terrestrial to shallow marine deposits represent the only record of plants and animals that once inhabited the eastern extension of Zealandia. Lower Cenozoic sediments have yielded a shallow marine fauna, including a rich molluscan assemblage linked to the oceanic inundation of this landmass. The late Cenozoic biota documents the re-emergence of the Chatham Islands and the establishment of major oceanic currents, which meet along the Chatham Rise. This review summarizes the fossil record of the Chatham Islands and the Chatham Rise, integrating data from published and unpublished sources.