Since pests were eradicated, Matiu/Somes Island has become a sanctuary for native plants, birds, reptiles and invertebrates including tuatara, kakariki, North Island robin, little blue penguins and weta. This island can be reached by a regular ferry service.
Walks on Matiu/Somes offer excellent bird-watching opportunities as well as the chance to study other plants and animals. You can also delve into the island's fascinating history.
View the resource
Ecology and conservation
- Coastal forest community (PDF, 278K)
- Coastal shrub community (PDF, 215K)
- Cliff plants (PDF, 234K)
- Birds of the coast (PDF, 320K)
- Reptiles (PDF, 269K)
- Weta (PDF, 282K)
- Te Whanganui a Tara (PDF, 295K)
- Formation of Wellington Harbour (PDF, 274K)
- Immigration and human quarantine (PDF, 265K)
- Animal quarantine (PDF, 274K)
- Military history (PDF, 268K)
- The lighthouse (PDF, 290K)
About the resource
This resource has been developed for teachers who wish to involve their students in environmental education both inside and outside the classroom. It focuses on three main topics for Matiu/Somes Island.
For each of these topics (Ecology, conservation, and restoration, People and the island today, History), key focus areas, curriculum links and suggested pre-visit, on-site and post visit activities have been developed.
The key concepts underlying environmental education - interdependence, sustainability, biodiversity and personal and social responsibility for action, interweave throughout the suggested activities.
This publication is intended to provide you with enough information to plan a class study of, and a trip to, Matiu/Somes Island.
- Social science
- Health and PE
A large range of possible learning oucomes can be sourced from this unit.
- Students will investigate Ecology and conservation, People and the Island, History
- Students will use simple food chains to explain the feeding relationships on Matiu / Somes Island’s coastal shrub community
- Students will observe how a range of NZ plants and animals live
- Students will gather information about the geological history of this island
- Students will investigate and describe processes
which have changed the earth’s surface over time
- Students will gain knowledge and understanding of ways in which communities reflect the cultures and heritages of their people
- Students will develop an understanding of how different groups use Matiu / Somes Island
Links to curriculum
- Science: Living World: Ecology (Coastal forest community, cliff plants, sea birds, reptiles, weta)
- Planet Earth & Beyond. Earth Systems
- Health & PE: Personal health and physical development: Safety management
- Social Sciences: Place and environment
- Island reserve
- Native bush
Copyright 2009, New Zealand Department of Conservation
ISBN: 978-0-478-14449-9 (print)
ISBN: 978-0-478-14450-5 (web pdf)
2nd edition 2005
First published: 2001