Matiu / Somes Island. © WellingtonNZ.com

Matiu / Somes Island: New Zealand’s Alcatraz


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Visit the intriguing island in the middle of Wellington Harbour.

Somes Island, known as Matiu to Māori, makes for an intriguing day trip to learn about the extensive heritage of this little piece of land.  

With pre-European history dating back to Kupe, more recently Matiu / Somes Island was used as a quarantine facility and a military defence point. 

Today, the island is a predator-free scientific reserve, with a number of walking trails that take in the lighthouse, WWII gun emplacements and views across the harbour to Wellington City. 

Pack a picnic for a day trip or, for a more unique experience, you can even stay overnight in the DOC accommodation. 

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