The best way to
experience gannets

In a country blessed with some major gannet colonies in incredibly scenic locations, why should you choose to view these special birds with us here at Gannet Safaris Overland? From driving up right up to the colony, to witnessing the largest gannet colony in the country, to accessing New Zealand’s largest privately-owned wildlife sanctuary, we strive to create the best bird-watching tour you can find when it comes to gannets. Read on for more details.

With GSO, there is no required walking up the steep hill – we literally drive up onto the plateau, bringing you within a few metres of the birds as they go about their everyday life. This makes our tour great for all ages, from the smallest child to the elderly, and those in-between with limited mobility.

Kidnappers has New Zealand’s largest gannet colony, with 20,000 performing and preening gannets congregating on the plateau. In fact, it is the largest accessible mainland gannet colony in the world (the bigger colonies around the globe are all on islands). The Farewell Spit colony comes second in New Zealand with 9,000 birds and Muriwai third with about 2,500 birds.

We drive through New Zealand’s largest privately-owned wildlife sanctuary. Cape Sanctuary was set up in 2006 by locals Andy and Liz Lowe, the Hansen family, and American billionaire philanthropist Julian Robertson. Its 10.6 kilometres of predator-proof fence spans the peninsula, cutting the farm off from the pests and predators outside, and allowing species of birds such as whitehead, takahe, and kiwi to thrive inside. Pockets of the native forest lie alongside pasture, where sheep and beef are tended. This sanctuary is not open to the public – only to guests at the exclusive lodge, and to Gannet Safari Overland. We drive our 4×4 vehicles through a portion of the sanctuary in order to access the plateau. Our driver will talk knowledgeably about the working, farm, the sanctuary, and all the projects on the go there as we drive through on the way to the gannet plateau.

We offer private sunrise tours. While our regular tour in our 4×4 bus is our mainstay, the experience of the country’s largest gannet colony is made even more special if you get there for sunrise in our range rover. The colony is waking up, the sun rises over the ocean and all is bathed in a gorgeous golden light.

Of course, our local guides are also extremely friendly and knowledgeable and committed to providing you the best experience of the peninsula and of birdwatching possible. We hope to see you here at Gannet Safaris Overland soon!


Our Tours

Takapū/ Australasian Gannets at the Blackreef colony, Cape Kinappers - Hawke's Bay. 

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Be sure to not miss out on tickets for the 2024/2025 season. Book online now at

#gannets #hbnz #hawkesbay #newzealand #farming #capekidnappers #tourismhb #gannetsafaris
We’re all about those special moments 🥰 

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Happy Mother's Day to all wonderful mothers out there! 

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Whilst bookings for gannet colony tours have closed for the season, the incredible Cape Sanctuary Tour is still operating! Book now via website in bio. 

Venture across the formidable landscape of the Ocean Beach Wilderness Area, the heart of New Zealand’s largest privately owned and operated wildlife sanctuary. Our guides will take you through a journey of past and present, from pre-historic times, early occupation, barren hillsides to luscious coastal forest. Experience the impact of Cape Sanctuary’s conservation efforts in real-time through up-close encounters with takahe and kakariki. Travel high above the Ocean Beach Cliffs, and greet the all-encompassing view of our coastline as you enter our pest-free slice of paradise, the ‘sea bird site’. Learn about Cape Sanctuary’s nationally significant sand-dune restoration, coastal revegetation, species translocations and leading sea-bird restoration projects with a well-deserved drink on the panoramic verandah of our newly built hut. Experience one of Hawke’s Bay’s best kept secrets in this three hour journey!

 #hbnz #capekidnappers #gannets #gannetsafaris #hbnz #tourism #hbtousiusm #newzealand #thingstodo #ecotourism #capesanctuary #capekidnappers #oceanbeachnz
Gannets aren't the only animal in the spotlight on the Gannet Safari Overland Adventure! 

Over the past decades, the New Zealand fur seal/ kekeno population has made a comeback to the Cape Kidnappers peninsula. These gorgeous sea-dogs often steal a bit of attention away from the takapū, but whose complaining!?

 #seal #kekeno #newzealand #NZ #lovenz #mammals #marinelife #marine #ocean #hbnz #hbtourism #gannetsafaris
Chicks cooling down in the sun ☀️ 

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With no prior farming experience yet eager for a change in lifestyle James Gillespie Gordon started his purchase of Clifton station. While the steep and drought prone hillsides provided many challenges, Gordon's perseverance and assistance from local shepherds resulted in great expansion! By 1876 there were ~16,000 sheep on Clifton, becoming a profitable and iconic New Zealand working farm. 

Learn more about the history of Cape Kidnappers Station on your journey New Zealand's largest and most accessible gannet colony! 

#nz #nzfarming #farmingnz #farmersnz #cliftonstation #cliftonnz #capekidnappers #farminglife #sheepfarm #hbnz #gannetsafaris #gannets
#TAG your next gannet safari's adventure pal! 

#gannetsafaris #gannetsafrisoverland #gannets #takapu #hastingsnz #nz #newzealand #nzbirds #hbnz