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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.

Quick facts:

  • Location: 20 minute ferry ride from central Wellington
  • Price (weekdays): $220 (for the whole house)
  • Price (Fri or Sat night): $265 per night
  • Peak (23 Dec - 16 Jan): $265 per night
  • Sleeps: 12 people

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.

Matiu Somes Island lodge

Matiu Somes Island lodge

For booking information visit the DOC website. Phone the Wellington Visitor Centre 04 384 7770 or post to 18 Manners St, Wellington. Forest & Bird members (and staff) receive a 25% discount on accommodation if they book through the Wellington Visitor Centre.

Click here for the ferry timetable.

Lodge contact:

Department of Conservation, Wellington Visitor Centre
04 384 7770

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