Investigation of bacterial chromate tolerance has mostly focused on strains originating from polluted sites. In the present study, we isolated 33 chromate tolerant strains from diverse environments harbouring varying concentrations of chromium (Cr). All of these strains were able to grow on minimal media with at least 2 mM hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) and their classification revealed that they belonged to 12 different species and 8 genera, with a majority (n = 20) being affiliated to the Bacillus cereus group. Selected B. cereus group strains were further characterised for their chromate tolerance level and the ability to remove toxic Cr(VI) from solution. A similar level of chromate tolerance was observed in isolates originating from environments harbouring high or low Cr. Reference B. cereus strains exhibited the same Cr(VI) tolerance which indicates that a high chromate tolerance could be an intrinsic group characteristic. Cr(VI) removal varied from 22.9% (strain PCr2a) to 98.5% (strain NCr4). Strains NCr1a and PCr12 exhibited the ability to grow to the greatest extent in Cr(VI) containing media (maximum growth of 65.3% and 64.9% relative to that in the absence of Cr(VI), respectively) accompanied with high chromate removal activity (73.7% and 74.4%, respectively), making them prime candidates for the investigation of chromate tolerance mechanisms in Gram-positive bacteria and Cr(VI) bioremediation applications.