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THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.
Mana Island is a scientific reserve administered by the Department of Conservation, and lies about 5 km from the entrance to Porirua Harbour. Access to the reserve is restricted as visitors are required to find their own way to the island. The Friends of Te Papa have chartered a vessel from Paremata (Mana Marina) and you’ll have the exciting opportunity to be guided around the island by Te Papa Bird & Reptile Curator Dr Colin Miskelly.
There are many rare bird and lizard species on the island, and some require a bit of luck to see or hear. Species that are abundant and readily seen include yellow-crowned parakeet, bellbird, tui and whitehead. Takahe, fernbird, North Island robin and pateke/brown teal are also seen fairly regularly. Much of the walk is on the exposed plateau of the island, and so be prepared for wind, sun and rain – plus you must provide your own food and drink. The walk is not arduous (there is a bit of a climb near the start), but the surface is uneven (modified from a former farm track), and so good footwear and a reasonable level of fitness are required. Colin will guide a small group around the island on a 3 hour tour, allowing time for further exploration before returning to the mainland.
Colin Miskelly has been involved in ecological restoration on Mana Island for nearly 30 years, including writing the restoration plan for the island (while employed by the Department of Conservation). He still visits the island regularly and has ongoing research there on translocated seabirds and flax weevils, which he will explain during the walk.
Please take care to ensure that you do not carry any seeds, insects or other pests (including mice!) to the island. Before leaving home, clean the soles of your boots or shoes, and that check that your socks, pockets and velcro (e.g. on your raincoat) are free of seeds. Everyone will be required to empty and inspect their day-packs before boarding the vessel, as well as stepping in a tray of disinfectant.
The departure point of Mana Marina, Paremata can be reached by road or rail. Please ensure you leave plenty of time to travel to allow for the bio security checks before boarding the boat. The trip to the island takes about 15 min, and we will disembark via a gang-plank over the bow. There are toilets on the vessel and near the landing point, but not during the circuit walk.
Rail: There are regular trains on the Paraparaumu line, Paremata Station is just across the bridge, 5 mins walk away, and there is another a stop at Mana, from where it would take about 8 minutes to walk back along the park road. From Wellington, there is a train at 7.44 am arrives at 8.11 am.
Driving: turn off SH1 at the lights at Pascoe Ave (Ngati Toa Domain), cross the railway lines and take the first turn left. Follow the road around to the left past the marina, and then to the left of the ‘member access only’ barrier arm. there is plenty of free parking.
We will meet in the ‘public’ parking area here at 8:30am for the short walk to the boat. We will return at 3pm, landing in Mana Marina at roughly 3:15pm.