Gannet Colony Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers is an outstanding bird-watching destination, with dramatic coastal views and gannet colonies.  It was named by Captain Cook after an attempt by local Māori to abduct one of his crew. Today this sandstone headland to the east of Hastings in Hawke’s Bay is a fascinating place to  visit.

The cape is home to the largest and most accessible gannet colony in the world. The 13-hectare privately owned reserve includes the Saddle and Black Reef gannet colonies. A great activity for families and nature lovers, bird watching in Hawke’s Bay is a thrilling experience. Get up close to the fascinating gannets with a guided tour.

Drive past some of the most ruggedly beautiful coastlines in the country, the spectacular sandstone cliffs are a remarkable sight from the colony and hilltops.  Arriving at the gannet colony you’ll see up to 25,000 gannets within close distance. Marvel at their 2-metre wingspan and watch them swooping and diving for fish and feeding their young chicks. Gannets are quirky birds with interesting eye markings, unusual nest styles and a fascinating courtship dance.