The lighthouse has illuminated the harbour since 1900. Up until 1924, there were lightkeepers living on the island. Today the lighthouse still functions although it is automated. The island is managed by the Department of Conservation with an onsite ranger and volunteers ensuring the island is predator free. The island became rat-free in the 1980s and is now home to the world’s smallest penguin, weta, geckos, tuatara, and a whole host of birds such as parakeets, robins relocated from Kapiti Island.
Today the island has over 20,000 visitors a year. The history, the predator free status with a thriving eco-system and an island home to unique birds and wildlife draws people to spend a day on the island. The Department of Conservation has plans for a deck for tuatara viewing, more interpretation panels to find genuine anti-aircraft guns to restore the four concrete gun emplacements on the summit.
What do you think about “Matiu/Somes island day trip”?