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.
The island is open daily 8:30 am - 5 pm every day except Christmas Day.
Download this information in a brochure: Wellington Harbour Islands by boat (PDF, 1928K)
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.
The northern wharf on Matiu / Somes Island is closed—it is unsafe and no landing or mooring is permitted on it.
Coming ashore on Matiu/Somes Island
- Check for rodents on your vessel before leaving for Matiu/Somes Island.
- You may come ashore only at the main wharf and nearby beach on the northeast point of the island.
- Dinghies or kayaks can be pulled ashore from just north of the close northern wharf to the main wharf, as shown on the map.
- 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 off the closed Northern wharf, or drop anchor, avoiding the no anchoring area and taking care not to block the access lanes for service vehicles (see map).
- To ensure that weeds, insects and mice are not introduced to the island, 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.
- Animals, including pets, may not be brought ashore.
- Fishing is not permitted from the Island.
- If you have a large group and wish to be met by the ranger, call +64 4 568 6555 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.