View from Matiu/Somes Island (Wellington city in the background)



Matiu/Somes Island is a predator-free scientific reserve. It is also a historic reserve with a rich multicultural history.

Matiu Somes Island is owned by local iwi (Taranaki Whānui) following a Treaty settlement. It is governed by a Kaitiaki Board and managed by DOC. See the Wellington Harbour Islands Kaitiaki Plan.


Find things to do and places to stay Matiu/Somes Island

Matiu/Somes Island offers excellent views, bird watching opportunities as well as the chance to study other plants and animals enjoying the pest-free environment. 

A variety of native animals have been reintroduced to the island, including:

  • red-crowned parakeet/kākāriki – which are very visible and vocal around the island
  • reptiles, including the ancient tuatara, and
  • Cook Strait giant weta and Wellington tree weta, which have their own motels.

Find out about the plants and animals on the island

Matiu/Somes Island is a great destination for a day out paddling on the harbour. Find out about the rules for landing on the island before setting out.

Check you are pest-free

Check, clean, and seal your gear to ensure you don't bring pests, soil, and seeds.

See island biosecurity requirements.


Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
1/37 Halifax Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
Back to top