Time Required : 2-3 hours
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The Matiu-Somes island is the perfect place for a nature lover, or for spending some time away from the city, in the midst of rich flora and fauna. Located off the coast of the city of Wellington, the island is easily accessible by ferry, boat or kayak. If you’re the sporty kind, don’t hesitate to hire a kayak from the city and kayak in the beautiful waters around the island. A ferry ride will take around 20 minutes, and around 2 to 3 hours should be more than enough to explore the island.
The island boasts of having a flourishing population of blue penguins, North Island robins, and parakeets. A historical site of significance, human and animal quarantine stations are also present here, and most of them are standing to this day. You may anchor, swim, snorkel, and dive around the island, without disturbing the rocks nearby. Pets are also not allowed on the island. Make sure you carry enough sunblock and enthusiasm for a trip to the island!
You could go up the 19th century lighthouse and capture some beautiful views of the bay, or go around the former military station here. Or, you could simply walk around the island and look at some rare and endangered species housed there.
The island is now a scientific reserve, and is predator and rodent-free. The blue penguin thrives here, as do several species of shag, the spotted skink, and the silver gull. Rare and endangered species of plants can also be found on the island, and are preserved by the volunteers and employees. The authorities also re-introduced several local species, such as the red-crowned parakeets and several species of weta.
Matiu-Somes is also home to six species of native reptiles, such as the common skink, spotted skink, copper skink, and common gecko. Forest geckos were also introduced in 2006. North Island robins were also introduced to the island, and bred for the first time, which suggests that the ecosystem was suitable for their flourishing.