Main Gannet Colony (The Plateau)

Point of Interest

5 from 2 users.


The reserve is home to gannet colonies where you can see nesting gannets and get spectacular views over Hawkes Bay. The Australasian gannet/takapu is one of three species of gannet which belong to the booby family. They are usually found in large colonies on offshore island around New Zealand and southern Australia and have been nesting at Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Mui since the 1870s. Numbers have steadily increased to 6,500 pairs, which makes it the largest and most accessible mainland colony in the world. The journey from Clifton along the beach to and from the Plateau colony is subject to periodic landslide, rockfall and can only be attempted around low tide. High tides and big seas will block the beach access. Following a recent landslide, access through the DOC reserve, which includes the access track up to the Plateau colony, is closed to the public. DOC is waiting for the completion of a risk assessment by experts to determine how dangerous the trip along the beach is. The best place to view the nesting gannets is at the Plateau colony which is on private land. With the beach access closed youll need to use a commercial tour operator, who run daily tours overland via the private farm, to access this colony as coastal access is closed. The best time for viewing the gannets is between early November and late February. Nesting commences in mid-September and continues through to mid-December. The first chicks hatch in the first week of November and the last chicks depart the colony during May for their migration to Australia.

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Lat: -39.64591 Lng: 177.091042

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