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 Hawke’s 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.
Top Tour Tips:
- Daily departures from late September/early October to late April; departure times vary daily due to tides (check our schedule)
- Tours are 4hrs duration
- Come prepared for the conditions. Bring: warm clothing (and wet-weather gear if necessary), hats, sunscreen, togs & towel, plenty of food & drink, wear suitable walking shoes
- Don’t forget your camera (but remember we are near water)!