Mana Channel / Ngatitoa Domain

Mana channel is often lumped in with Plimmerton as it's on the other side of Whiteria Domain. The big difference being how and what you can do there. The launch point is part of the Ngatitoa domain and has recently been "fenced off" making it an easy launch. 

It's a tight spot but offers some great flat water in the right conditions. 

It's easier to get to then Whiteria park but you must like tacking up wind if you want to go play in the bay. 

It's one of the few spots in Wellington where you really need to pay attention to the tides:
  • There's not a lot of room at low tide. 
  • The current is VERY strong so on the incoming tide you will loose anywhere between 5-8 knots making it very difficult to get out of the channel. 
  • On the outgoing tide however, the tide will help get more oomph out of the kite you're riding. 


Intermediate to advanced. You need to be able to kite upwind confidently to get to the bay and it's easy to end up in the Porirua harbour if you get caught out. 

Wind direction 

NNW through to WNW is doable. It's a bit of an odd spot as the wind will tend to tunnel into the channel, sometimes causing gusts, sometimes smoothing it out. 

Links - Plimmerton and Lyall Bay webcams and forecast - Plimmerton Boating Club weather station 

The word 

Flat water, "magic carpet" effect and a great easy spot for a quick after work kite. 

Getting There 

Plimmerton is located about a 20 minute (out of rush-hour) drive north of Wellington, just off of Highway 1 through Porirua 

Stay on State Highway 1 and turn left after the bridge in Paremata / Mana. 

Getting to Ngatitoa Domain

Setting up and and Launch

Launch Point.

you want to launch at the "corner" of Pascoe and the waterfront. Right in front of the T junction is a section that is now blocked off by railroad ties and posts. In that area (which has been cordoned off to stop RVs from parking there) is where we setup. 

On the Water 

If you want to go into the bay and ride the same waves as those launching from Whitereia park, then all the same comments apply:

This spot is generally windier than the rest of the Kapiti Coast but lighter than Wellington. It is very popular with windsurfers and can get crowded. The windier days produce a good swell and the waves are often cleaner than further up the coast. Waves form on a sandbar near the Onehanga bay launch and is highly affected by the state of the tide. A large swell is required for waves to break at high tide. Unfortunately the best waves occur in the most gusty wind direction i.e. Northerly. The oppoite is true in a Westerly. 

 Otherwise, the channel itself tends to be best in a NW and will provide some flat water. Be careful doing tricks too close to shore on the Ngatitoa Domain side as it is a popular spot for fishermen and families.
Boats coming in and out 

Larger boats going in and out of Porirua harbour can be very restricted by the depth of water. They need to follow the "leads" in and out. When on the water and looking towards the hill just to the north of the Shell/McDonalds, you can see two white triangle on shore (one next to the railway lines and the other a short distance up the hill) boats of any size go in and out with these lined up. Giving room to boats on this line, especially on the rougher days would be good. It is advisable to pass astern of any shipping where possible