Location: 20 minute ferry ride from central Wellington
Price (per night): $200 for the whole house
Sleeps: 8 people
Set within Wellington's harbour, Matiu/Somes Island has historically served a variety of purposes from holding enemy aliens' during both World Wars to acting as an animal quarantine station.
The island was once covered in farmland, but Forest & Bird members have been restoring the island since 1982, planting native species such as ngaio, harakeke, totara, rata and kahikatea. Matiu/Somes is now home to rare native birds including kakariki, a colony of little blue penguins, and other native species including tuatara, giant weta and geckos.
There is access around the island on easy walking tracks. The house is a large family home with a kitchen, 3 bedrooms, a large lounge and dining room. Bring your own food and bedding and a torch. Smoking is restricted to the wharf a 10 minute walk from the house.
Fridge power and electric lighting is provided by a sustainable power system and hot water by solar hot water heating. There is a heat pump in the house but its use is dependent on the wind and solar inputs. Due to the mammalian predator free status of the island and its special flora and fauna strict biosecurity requirements need to be met prior to departing for the island and on arrival. Please bring a torch for spotting wildlife.
For booking information go to www.doc.govt.nz, and go to online bookings. Ph Wellington Visitor Centre 04 384 7770 or post to 18 Manners St, Wellington. Forest & Bird members receive a 25% discount on accommodation if they book through the Wellington Visitor Centre.
Booking Information (DOC)
For the ferry timetable, click here