Gannet Safaris Overland
Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay
Cape Kidnappers Gannet Safaris Overland tours takes you into the largest accessible mainland gannet nesting colony in the world. There are some 20,000 birds at the Cape, offering one of New Zealand's most fascinating wildlife sites.
The gannets are members of the Booby family, with distinctive black eye markings and a pale gold crown. Visitors will see adults and young nesting in serried rows carrying out their daily routine. In the air above your heads these amazing birds with their six-foot wing span (2 metres) swoop and dive as they bring back fish. On the ground, just a few feet away, the pairs preen and perform the dance of the gannets’ recognition ritual
The birds can be seen from September to April. In September they return and build their nests ready for the arrival of the chicks during December and January. The chicks are then fattened up ready for their first and departing flight in March/April when they migrate to warmer climates.
Gannet Safaris, at Te Awanga, has been guiding visitors over Cape Kidnappers for over 50 years. Their safaris are the only way to be driven right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. There is absolutely no walking required.
You will travel in comfort in air conditioned 4WD vehicles through Cape Kidnappers Station; traversing riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through stands of native bush, steep gullies and breathtaking inclines. There is a stop on the way at a spectacular cliff top with panoramic views of Hawke Bay right across to the Mahia Peninsula. The amazing geology of the area can also be taken in. The 36km, three-hour trip includes a commentary by your tour guide / driver on the farming operation on Cape Kidnappers Station, the wildlife sanctuary and an introduction to the gannets.
On arrival at the gannets you can stretch your legs and take in the scenery from your position at the brink of the cliffs edge - 100 metres above the ocean. Here your driver / guide will serve you refreshments whilst you enjoy watching the gannets perform around you.
Individual, group or private tour options are available.
Depart 9:30am, 1:30pm | Duration 3 hours
Transport from Napier, Hastings or Havelock North i-sites: $32
Contact Operator for a private tour quote.
Tours depart from Te Awanga. Visitors to Hawke’s Bay can follow the signs to “Cape Kidnappers” from Clive to Te Awanga. Once through Te Awanga village, cross the bridge and within 100 metres the Gannet Safari Overland sign and entrance are on the right.
Transfers available from Napier, Hastings & Havelock North i-Sites. Allow 45 minutes before tour time.
CHILD POLICY Family friendly, under 5 free, 5-16 years child price
CANCELLATION 24 hours 100% | cancellation due to weather or mechanical reasons, full refund
SEASONAL September until April