Owned by the Crown, Waitapu Wharf is under the control of the Department of Conservation.
Once a thriving fishing port, Waitapu has fallen into disrepair over the years and the channel has silted up considerably. The approaches now require local knowledge to navigate, and in places have insufficient depth for even small planing vessels at very low tides.
The leading light beacons (NZ Light List 4196, 4196.1, 4197, 4197.1) and a lit dolphin in the approaches (NZ Light List 4194.1) had fallen into dereliction and were removed by Council in May 2012.
A series of buoys - mainly mussel floats - informally mark the channel (as at June 2012), as shown by the numbered points in the plan below.
Please note that the green dots do not represent actual marks.