About the tour
“Where else in the world can you jump on the back of a trailer and get towed along the beach by a 1949 Minneapolis-Moline tractor to a bird colony?”
Established in 1952, Gannet Beach Adventures has a long history of providing tours on a spectacular stretch of the Hawke’s Bay coastline, from Clifton to Cape Kidnappers. Our unique, fun eco-experience tour involves travel with local experienced guides by vintage tractors and trailers on a comfortable four-hour adventure to the largest mainland gannet colony in the world!
Departing on the days’ low tide, visitors travel by tractor and trailer along the majestically rugged coastline. Photographic opportunities abound as stops are made throughout the journey giving visitors an insight into how nature’s forces have shaped this amazing area.
Travelling through the Black Reef colony (one of two colonies we visit) visitors can almost touch the gannets in their natural environment, without even stepping off the trailer. It was at this site in 1769 local Maori kidnapped a crew member off Captain Cook’s ship The Endeavour, the incident from which Cape Kidnappers gets its name.
Continuing onto the Cape itself, an approximate 90 minute break enables visitors’ ample time to picnic, swim, or enjoy a scenic walk to the Plateau colony. Stunning views across Hawkes Bay from the top of the Cape grace many a visitor’s photo album. The Saddle & Whalebone Reef colonies can also be viewed from here (but are inaccessible to the public).
Depending on the time of the season, visitors can witness new-born chicks, through to 4-month old gannets preparing for their first ever flight, which will take them all the way to Australian waters.