Matiu/Somes Island
Image: DOC


Information for boat skippers and kayakers who wish to visit Matiu/Somes Island.

Matiu/Somes Island is free of rats, mice and other mammalian pests, making it a sanctuary for some very special New Zealand wildlife. You must take precautions to minimise the risk of re-invasion and protect the rare and endangered species living there.

Open hours: The island is open daily 8:30 am – 5 pm every day except Christmas Day.

Due to biosecurity requirements, the latest you can arrive on island is 3 pm daily. This will ensure you have sufficient time to undertake biosecurity check and explore the island before it’s closing at 5 pm.

Landing on Wellington Harbour islands

Mākaro/Ward Island Scientific Reserve

Landing is permitted here between 7 am and 30 minutes after sunset. No dogs, fires or overnight camping is permitted

Mokopuna Island Scientific Reserve

No landing is permitted at any time on this sensitive sea bird breeding area.

Matiu/Somes Island Scientific Reserve

You may land only at the main wharf and nearby beach on the northeast point of the Island.

No landing is permitted at any time along other parts of the shoreline  – shown in red on the boat and kayak access map.

  • Check for rodents on your vessel before leaving for Matiu/Somes Island.
  • Animals, including pets, may not be brought ashore.
  • Fishing is not permitted from the island.

Coming ashore on Matiu/Somes Island

You may come ashore only at the main wharf or the adjacent beach areas directly north and south within the bay.

All other boats may briefly unload at the main wharf, ensuring that they stay clear of ferries and other service vehicles.

Boats must then immediately move off the wharf and either:

  • pick up one of the mooring buoys located nearby, or
  • drop anchor, avoiding the no anchoring area and taking care not to block the access lanes for service vehicles.

Visitors must go into the whare kiore/visitor shelter

All visitors must first go into the whare kiore/visitor shelter to inspect their bags. The shelter is located next to the main wharf and contains instructions on inspecting bags. This is to ensure that weeds, insects and mice are not introduced to the island. 

If you have a large group and wish to be met by the ranger, call +64 27 447 7488 before your trip.

Recreation around Matiu/Somes Island

You may anchor, swim, fish, snorkel and dive anywhere around Matiu/Somes Island without coming ashore on the island or surrounding rocks.

Anchor well off shore to reduce the risks of rodents swimming ashore.

Abide by quota or catch size rules.

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