Mana Island Scientific Reserve: Places to go in Wellington and Kapiti

Mana Island at sunset, viewed from Porirua
Image: Russell Street | Creative Commons


Mana Island lies off the west coast of Wellington. A restored woolshed houses historic displays, walking tracks lead to spectacular views and a restored wetland is home to many bird species.


Also enjoy a historic lighthouse site and 'concrete gannet colony' installed above the western cliffs to attract gannets to breed there.

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching


  • Information panels
  • Pest free
    Protect our wildlife
    • Check - your gear for pests, eg. rodents, insects, skinks
    • Clean - footwear and gear, removing soil and seeds
    • Seal - ensure your gear is zipped up (no open bags)

    See island biosecurity requirements.

In this section

Find things to do Mana Island Scientific Reserve


Bird watching

Many bird species can be seen on Mana Island including takahe, blue penguin, brown teal, diving petrel, fluttering shearwater, gannets, yellow-crowned parakeet, little spotted kiwi and North Island robin.

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    About this place

    Getting there

    Landing point, Mana Island. Photo: Kris Ericksen.
    Landing point, Mana Island

    The 217 hectare island is only 2.5 km from the mainland at its closest point.

    Visitors are welcome to Mana Island between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm. Access may be made only in the bay between the old woolshed and the wharf. Boats must remain offshore after visitors have landed.

    Two moorings, marked by red buoys, are available in the bay for daytime use. They are not available for overnight mooring.

    Dinghies may be pulled up the beach after transporting passengers from their boat.

    'Friends of Mana Island' sometimes run day excursions with a guided tour of the island.

    For transport options contact the Wellington Visitor Centre. 

    Know before you go

    Everything on Mana Island is protected and nothing may be removed. Fires and smoking are not permitted. Dogs and other pets may not be taken onto the island.


    Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
    Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
    Full office details
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