Australasian gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers



The reserve is home to gannet colonies where you can see nesting gannets and get spectacular views over Hawke’s Bay.

The beach from Clifton to the Plateau colony is subject to landslides and rockfall. The risk is real and significant and people who choose to travel down the beach are accepting this risk. The walk can only be attempted around low tide and high tides and big seas will block the beach access.

Following a significant landslide, access through the DOC reserve, which includes the access track up to the Plateau colony, was closed to the public. With the completion of a risk assessment by experts, it is clearer that the landslides are unpredictable, and can be massive in size.

The track to the gannet colony was reopened and new signs were installed to make clear that there is a significant rockfall and landslide risk. Visitors should be aware that the status of the track can change at any time. Check the safety alert on this page before commencing the walk.

The best place to view the nesting gannets is at the Plateau colony which is on private land. A lower-risk option for accessing the gannet colony without travelling along the beach is still available through a commercial tour operator, who run tours overland via the private farm.

Map of Cape Kidnappers beach access and DOC reserves (JPEG, 752K)

Find things to do and places to stay Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui Gannet Reserve

You can enjoy close-up views of nesting gannets at the Plateau and Black Reef colonies.

Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui Walking Track information.



DOC Customer Service Centre
Phone 0800 275 362
Address DOC offices
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