Fodor's Expert Review Cape Kidnappers

Hawke's Bay Beach
Free

This outstanding spot is believed to be the only mainland gannet sanctuary in existence. It was named by Captain James Cook after local Māori tried to kidnap the servant of his Tahitian interpreter, Tupaia. Gannets—large white seabirds with black-tipped flight feathers, a golden crown, and a wingspan that can reach 6 feet—generally nest only on remote islands. But between October and April, thousands of them build their nests here, hatch their young, and prepare them for their long migratory flight. Watching them dive for their dinner is particularly impressive: when the birds find a shoal of fish, they fold their wings and plunge straight into the sea at tremendous speed. You can walk to the sanctuary along the beach from Clifton, but check with the i-Site first—from time to time rock fall makes the walk dangerous, and you can't go at high tide. Clifton is about 24 km (15 miles) south of Napier. The 8-km (5-mile) walk must begin no earlier than three hours after the high-tide... READ MORE

This outstanding spot is believed to be the only mainland gannet sanctuary in existence. It was named by Captain James Cook after local Māori tried to kidnap the servant of his Tahitian interpreter, Tupaia. Gannets—large white seabirds with black-tipped flight feathers, a golden crown, and a wingspan that can reach 6 feet—generally nest only on remote islands. But between October and April, thousands of them build their nests here, hatch their young, and prepare them for their long migratory flight. Watching them dive for their dinner is particularly impressive: when the birds find a shoal of fish, they fold their wings and plunge straight into the sea at tremendous speed. You can walk to the sanctuary along the beach from Clifton, but check with the i-Site first—from time to time rock fall makes the walk dangerous, and you can't go at high tide. Clifton is about 24 km (15 miles) south of Napier. The 8-km (5-mile) walk must begin no earlier than three hours after the high-tide mark, and the return journey must begin no later than four hours before the next high tide. Tidal information is available at area i-SITE Visitor Information Centres. A rest hut with refreshments is near the colony.

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Quick Facts

468 Clifton Rd.
Hawke's Bay  4172, New Zealand

64-6-834–3111

www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/hawkes-bay/places/cape-kidnappers-gannet-reserve

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