Mātiu/Somes Island Closure | East by West Ferries

Mātiu/Somes Island Closure

Access to Mātiu/Somes Island in Wellington will be restricted from February 19 2024 to allow the 85-year-old wharf to be rebuilt.

The operation to rebuild Mātiu/Somes Island’s wharf is expected to take between 6-8 months, during which time the island will be inaccessible to the public and East by West is unable to stop there. The island is planned to be open to the public again by spring 2024 although factors like weather may influence this timeframe. We will provide updates as soon as we’re able to with a reopening date.

The island will remain accessible to visitors until 19 February so our services to the island will be running as usual until end of day 18th February.

About Mātiu/Somes Island

This fascinating Island is a scientific and historic reserve managed by Department of Conservation (DOC). It is steeped in local history, from early Māori settlement to a prisoner of war camp, and quarantine station. Now it is being allowed to revert to its native flora and fauna. Being rodent free, the birdlife is amazing, and you may even be lucky enough to see the native tuatara that have been reintroduced to the island.

The views from all over the easy walking tracks on the island are unsurpassed and not to be missed; we recommend spending at 2 – 3 hours exploring.

Download our scavenger hunt to do while you're on the island.

Visitor information:

  • There are no catering facilities so please bring your own food and water. 
  • Facilities include bathrooms, a visitor centre and accommodation (booking through DOC essential for overnight stays)
  • Visitor numbers are limited to protect the island over the busy summer period.
  • The island is a predator free island so please check your belongings for pests before arriving on the island. You will go through a bio-security check when you arrive at Matiu Somes Island.
  • Pets and Bicycles are not permitted on the island (push chairs are allowed)

For more information about Mātiu/Somes Island please visit the DOC website.

For a link to the brochure and map, click here.

School groups

We are tentatively taking bookings from 1st November 2024 for school groups but won't be able to confirm until closer to the time when we have confirmation of the wharf reopening. See options below:

The Mātiu/Somes Island Excursion

Please note the island will be closed from 19 February 2024. The last day to travel to the island is the 18 February.

Explore this fascinating island steeped in local history from early Māori settlement to its more recent status as a DOC reserve. The views from all over the easy walking tracks are unsurpassed. Native bird life abounds and you may even see a residential Tuatara!

Groups can depart Queens Wharf at 10am or 12pm and return back to Queens Wharf at 1:35pm or 3:50pm.

Groups can depart Days Bay at 11:10am or 12:35pm and return back to Days Bay at 1:05pm or 3:10pm. 

Groups of more than 40 people will need to be put on a dedicated charter sailing. 

Please contact us here to make a tentative booking from the 1st November which will be confirmed when we have an opening date for the island.

Treasure Island trips

Students get up close to the capital’s maritime history in Wellington Museum’s Treasure Island school programme. The adventure begins with a museum tour before setting sail to Mātiu/Somes Island by ferry where they can discover the diverse roles of our harbour in the past and present. Learn more here.