Known in Maori mythology as the hook with which Maui fished the North Island from the sea, Cape Kidnappers received its modern name from Captain James Cook after local Maoris attempted to kidnap a young Tahitian boy from his ship Endeavour.
The dramatic promontory of Cape Kidnappers is home to the largest and most spectacular mainland colony of gannets in the world. The 20,000 gannets are members of the Booby family with distinctive black eye markings and a pale gold crown. Visitors to the colony will see adults and young nesting in serried rows. In the air birds swoop and dive as they bring back fish. On the ground, the pairs preen and perform the dance of the gannets' recognition ritual.
Cape Kidnappers Wilderness Safaris offer tour options over private land on Cape Kidnappers Peninsula, one of Hawke's Bay's most iconic landscapes. Nowhere else in New Zealand is it possible to see so much in one locality.
All of the tours weave along high ridges, affording magnificent views of Hawke's Bay & the Pacific Ocean, before descending down a coastal escarpment to some of the finest beaches and dune systems in New Zealand. The dunes also contain many native dune plants, the bones of Moa and other extinct birds, numerous archaeological sites, some dating back 600 years. The homeward journey is through regenerating kanuka forests, now a reserve for kiwi and other forest birds.
These tours are designed for visitors to experience spectacular scenery, coastal landscapes, early New Zealand history, flora and fauna and some of New Zealand's rare native wildlife.
We will be happy to give you advice and to assist with your bookings.
For more information about the gannets you can visit the Gannet Safaris website.