Matiu – Somes Island is a scientific and historic reserve. This wildlife sanctuary has such beautiful terrain, habitat to unusual flora, and fauna of New Zealands unique environments such as wildlife. The Island lizards, insects, and birds of Matiu Island shared this habitat as the Island in an earlier time was a human and animal Quarantine Station for many years. Now managed by the Department of Conservation,(DOC), visitors are welcome to the Island. DOC manages accommodation for stays overnight in the Forest and Bird House . Possible to view nocturnal animals and birds, especially to sight the world’s smallest Penguin that nest in earth burrows.
The harbour ferry stops at the Matiu/Somes Island Jetty/Wharf in morning and afternoons to allow visitors on and off the Island of some 62 Acres. Visitors check their bags on arrival, (not to bring pests to the island). An introduction talk by DOC rangers (in the quarantine building at the jetty wharf), gives one an insight to the importance of conservation.
Now one can walk slight incline road to the 30 minute loop trail. Trek through the forest to the centre of Matiu Island where one has spectacular surround views and listen to native birds in song such as the colourful Tui and the Kakariki Parakeet. It is Possible to sight the Tuatara Lizard that has an average lifespan 60-100 years. Tuatara may live to 200 years. Has been in existence for 200 million years, amazingly viewed as a living fossil.
The trail Summit has panorama views of Wellington Harbour,(Port Nicholson). The Native Maori named the harbour as Te Whanganui-a-Tara, the great harbor. is well Volunteers including the Royal Forest and Bird Society have been restoring,replanting flora, and assisting DOC with repopulation of native animals.
Visitors brings their own food to the island and picnic tables are located in set areas. Overnight stay guidelines are available at the DOC website. Accommodation in the “Forest and Bird House”, also the Island campsite is low key and suitable for small groups.
My images are an insight to the beautiful fauna and flora of Matiu Island.
Enjoy the Gallery below “Matiu- Somes Island”
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