Matiu/Somes Island, looking to Wellington.

Matiu/Somes Island, looking to Wellington

Matiu/Somes Island is a tranquil retreat for both wildlife and visitors.

Maori have occupied this island for generations. In more recent times, Matiu/Somes Island has served as a human and animal quarantine station, an internment camp, and a military defence position. It is now a DOC scientific and historic reserve.

We encourage you to visit the lighthouse, count the number of skinks that skitter off the track, and then pause for a moment to reflect on the island’s past, present and future. After all, you are a part of the next chapter in Matiu/Somes Island’s extraordinary history.

View the Matiu/Somes Island brochure (PDF, 1,083K).

Alert/Important notice

 Matiu/Somes Island closed half days from 31 January 2015.

To protect public safety and conservation values the island will be closed to the public from 1 pm to 8 am from 31 January 2015 until further notice as a result of heightened fire risk.

The dry, hot start to summer has triggered the restriction of public access to Matiu/Somes Island in the Wellington harbour.


Matiu/Somes Island is located in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington Harbour.

Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Wellington/Kapiti places


Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Full office details