Beach & Harbour
The beach immediately in front of the cottage is safe with a gently sloping usually sandy bottom. There are also plenty of other areas along the beach to swim including the popular beach at Days Bay. There are no lifeguards along the beach as it is generally safe in fine weather.
Surfcasting is popular around the Eastbourne shoreline including in front of the cottage on the sandy bottom. Fishing is also popular off both the Eastbourne (Rona) Wharf and Days Bay Wharf. Popular fish include Kawhai, Snapper and Flounder. Bait is available at the 4 Square grocery shop in the village.
Matiu Somes Island
Matiu Somes Island is the larger of the two islands in the harbour. It was once a quarantine station and even a camp for ‘enemy residents’ during the war. It is now a wildlife reserve administered by the Department of Conservation. You may be lucky enough to see Tuataras (native lizard) which have recently been reintroduced to the island
Day visits are popular where people can walk around the island and picnic (allow 3 hours). The Days Bay Ferry stops at Somes Island on some crossings. See their website for more details. www.eastbywest.co.nz
The ferry also runs back and forth from Days Bay to Wellington and return, if you wish to go into Wellington, it’s a great way to see the Harbour and views of Wellington. Berths at Queens Wharf which is close to the CBD.
Snorkelling is popular with children in the water just off the beach, although there isn’t a lot to see except the sandy bottom. For those who can dive there are a number of shipwrecks around the harbour and some good dive spots for spearfishing and local shellfish.
Kayaks are available for hire on fine days during the summer at Days Bay Boat Shed. These are only for use within the bay and not for exploring. For those who wish to bring their own Kayaks the trip to Ward Island is approximately 1 mile (1.5km) from the cottage and makes an excellent trip and great picnic spot.
In a northerly wind, there is sometimes small surf popular for beginners approximately 500 metres north of the cottage.
In a southerly, there can be good surf for beginners at the end of the seawall approximately 1 km south of the cottage.
The Wellington harbour is one of the most popular in New Zealand for windsurfing. On a windy day you can see windsurfers zipping backwards and forwards across the harbour.
On fine days windsurfers can sometimes be hired during summer at Days Bay Boatshed or alternatively may be hired across the harbour at ‘Boardriders’ in Worser Bay.
Due to Wellingtons consistent wind, kite surfing is popular just off the beach about 500 metres north of the cottage. During a strong northwesterly they can be seen surfing and jumping the waves.