Hawke's Bay

Cape Kidnappers

Getting to Cape Kidnappers is half the fun. You can walk, ride on a tractor trailer or paddle a kayak.

Cape Kidnappers is an extraordinary sandstone headland to the east of Hastings in Hawke's Bay. It was named by Captain Cook after an attempt by local Mäori to abduct one of his crew.

The cape is home to the largest and most accessible gannet colony in the world. The 13 hectare reserve includes the Saddle and Black Reef gannet colonies. Both are closed to public access, however the Black Reef colony can be viewed from the beach. There are several ways to get to the gannet colony - on foot, sitting on a tractor trailer, in a 4WD vehicle or by kayak.

The Australasian Gannet is a member of the booby family, which includes shags, pelicans and frigate birds. Adult Australasian gannets have a wing span of up to two metres and an average weight of two kilograms. Although ungainly on land, gannets are exceptional flyers and conduct spectacular high dives into the sea to catch fish. They nest over summer; the first chicks hatch in early November and the last chicks depart the colony during May.

The other major attraction at Cape Kidnappers is the golf course. Designed by American Tom Doak, the course makes the most of the breathtaking natural landscape. The sixth hole is widely regarded to be one of the great golf holes of the world.