Cape Kidnappers - tour to the Gannet ColonyTweet
29th December 2009
Driving along the dramatic Hawkes Bay coastline and through dramatic, forested farmland covering over 5,000 hectares. Gullies, dried river beds and risen sea-floor with unfossilized sea shells still embedded line the drive to the colony. Two-tier farming - trees (the first-tier) sit alongside the black Aberdeen Angus cattle and Perendale sheep (the second-tier) - helps the farm to maintain the quality of the soil and the sustainability of the farm long term.
Visiting in the breeding season, you're guranateed an abundance of birds in several colonies. At its peak, 20,000 birds come Cape Kidnappers - making it the largest "mainland" gannet colony. Colonies of anything approaching this size onland are rare as gannets prefer to breed in remote, inaccessible islands which are free of predators, as Cape Kidnappers is. The 13-hectare DOC-managed reserve boasts dramatic cliff faces and views over the sweeping Hawkes Bay.