Matiu Somes Island
When you are looking at Wellington Harbour there is a small island rising from the water. I was wondering for long time what’s on the island and how we could get there. Than we found out that it’s actually a reserve and we can get there easily by a ferry from city centre.
On one sunny Saturday, we’d arrived to a ticket office shortly before our ferry left the harbour. However, the queue in front of the ticket office indicated that we wouldn’t be able to get our tickets on time. Luckily, a big group of tourists went away and everything was getting faster. We even got one free ticket from a guy who was standing in front of us and had a spare one.
After fifteen minutes of sailing we arrived to Main Wharf. As the island is a predator free-scientific reservation, we had to go through a biosecurity control to prevent bringing anything dangerous on the island.
After the control we decided to do a loop track around Somes Island which took about 45 minutes. The period of time, when Somes Island served as a human and animal quarantine station or an internment camp is reminded by a monument and few tombstones about 10 minutes far from the Main Wharf..
Farther on the way we passed a few lookouts and made a stop at the lighthouse which was constructed in 1900. But the original one was even older.
After a while, we made a diversion to the summit of the island, where WWII gun emplacements were built. From up there, we had a great view of Wellington Harbour which we were enjoying during our lunch break. Just the weather was a bit windy again causing that leaves in our salad had been few times blown away before we could manage to eat them.
For the way back to Wellington, we chose a ferry which went through Eastbourne and Seatoun to enjoy a longer cruise for the same price instead of going straight to Wellington. The cruise to the first stop was nice and smooth but on the way to Seatoun the waves started to be bigger and the little ferry jumped over them and swung from side to side. We got a few water splashes as well. Eventually, we were really happy to get off the ferry and have our feet back on the dry land.