What You See:
Discover Wellington’s extraordinary natural features and contrasts. On this small group tour you will visit the summit of one of Wellington’s central peaks for 360 degree views of the city, harbour and coastline and learn about the legendary warrior who landed his canoe on the Wellington shore.
You will take a 20 minute ferry trip to land on Matiu Somes Island in the middle of Wellington harbour. There you will explore the island and wildlife sanctuary. As the name suggests Matiu Somes Island has a rich Maori and European history, sometimes colourful and sometimes tragic. The lighthouse on the island today dates pre 1900, it continues to guide and welcome sea-borne travellers into the safety of Wellington Harbour. The island was fortified with heavy anti-aircraft gun emplacements on the summit of the island.
Once a traditional pa site of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Maori, the island became a quarantine station, an internment camp, and a military defence position, it now seeks to protect and preserve New Zealand native flora and fauna. Somes is now home to rare native birds including North Island robins, fluttering shearwaters and kakariki, a colony of little blue penguins and to 6 species of native reptiles including the mysterious tuatara. Our guide will bring the history alive and help guests find these shy wild creatures.