Matiu/Somes, an island refuge in Wellington Harbour

Wellington city from Matiu/Somes Island.
Wellington city from Matiu/Somes Island.

Just 20 minutes from the shores of New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, is an island – Matiu/Somes. One sunny Sunday in May ELTO Intake 30 went there with their conversation partners on the Dominion Post ferry. Bui Thi Minh Nguyet recounts the experience.

The weather was absolutely beautiful with sunshine, clear blue sky and slight winds. The sea looked like the sky with thousands of stars sparkling. All of us were excited by the special beauty of the sea with gentle waves and the fantastic landscape on the harbour’s other side. The time seemed to move so quickly. Matiu/Somes Island is a scientific and historic reserve and on arrival we had to check our bags to ensure that no insect or pests had hidden away and come to the island. We had a small tramp up the hill with the desire to get a lucky chance to see many specific kinds of birds, and some species of invertebrates and reptiles on the island, particularly the giant weta and tuatara. We also hoped to meet the blue penguins but it is quite difficult because they just come back to the island at the night for sleeping.

We had a small walk before lunch. We were really lucky as we saw many beautiful red-crowned parakeets as well as some birds called North Island robin. We had to keep quiet and walk slowly to enjoy the lovely voices of the parakeets. After lunch we started tramping up to the hill. This is the second time I had been tramping. I really enjoyed it as I thought that the path up to the hill is like our life without the plateau. Sometimes we go up and down. But sometimes we stop and look for the beautiful birds, listen to the lovely voices of the birds or the invertebrates, the sounds of the sea, and enjoy the beautiful sightseeing from the hill. It means that we are enjoying our life and some special things in life after hard work. Life is never a plateau but I think “where there is a will there is a way”.

Like the first time I went to the Abel Tasman National Park, this trip to Matiu/Somes Island also made me aware of a sustainable environment and the importance of nature in our life. I really like the natural environment. It makes me feel more comfortable and healthier when I return to daily work.

A QUIET walk, listening out for wildlife.
Lunchtime on Matiu/Somes Island