On a Saturday in January 2017 I explored a small island in the middle of Wellington Harbour with two other Campbell students. I was excited to explore the predator-free scientific reserve with many roles in New Zealand’s history, including a quarantine station, a military outpost and now a wildlife refuge.
It wasn’t hard to reach Matiu/Somes Island. We took the East by West ferry from Queens Wharf on the Wellington Waterfront. The trip only took 30 minutes, and the view along the ride was nice.
When we arrived on the island, a ranger took us through the biosecurity checks to prevent unwanted plants and insects arriving on the island. After a short introduction to the island, we went tramping around the island. Despite the cloudy weather on that day, Matiu/Somes Island offered us a change of scenery with its wonderful landscapes and allowed us to meet plenty of animals including the protected kākāriki (parrot), tuatara (one of the most ancient dinosaurs left on earth), as well as a few sheep.
It was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend visiting Matiu/Somes Island for a day trip to students and tourists who are interested in natural environments. There’s no charge to explore the island – you would only have to pay for the return ferry trip. Totally worth it!
Clara Moschetti is a Campbell student and intern in early 2017. She came to New Zealand from Lyon, France, and she likes to spend her free time riding horses, taking photos and discovering new places.
More information on Matiu/Somes Island can be found here. In 2016 Sir Peter Jackson looked set to work on a joint tourism project to digitally tell the Māori history of Wellington on Matiu/Somes Island – more on the hi-tech plan is available here