This morning we left for Cape Kidnappers to see the Gannet Colony. Gannet Safaris picked us up from the central Napier i-Site for our three hour overland trip.
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.
Hawkes Bay - where to (and not to) stay - Recommendations on where to and not to stay in Napier and Havelock North in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Hawkes Bay trip - facts and figures - Facts and figures about our trip to Napier and Hawkes Bay in New Zealand
Napier - a visit to the National Acquarium of New Zealand - A travelogue from a trip to the National Acquarium in Napier, New Zealand
Hawkes Bay - a wine tour - Travelogue from a wine tour in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand
Havelock North - Sunset over Hawkes Bay - Sunset over Hawkes Bay seen from Havelock North
Cape Kidnappers - the Gannet Colony - Gannets at the Cape Kidnappers colony overlooking Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay - 4 great wineries not to miss - Great wineries to visit in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
New Zealand - places not to miss - Recommended places to visit in and around New Zealand
A helicopter ride over Taupo - Notes from our helicopter ride over the Lake Taupo area on the North Island of New Zealand
New Zealand - The Buried Village - Information on and about the Buried Village near Rotorua in New Zealand
Hawke's Bay - Official website of Hawkes Bay Tourism
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook