Best places

If you have a special interest in seabirds, you can’t go past the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head in Dunedin, or the Cape Kidnappers gannet colony with us here at Gannet Safaris Overland, or the little blue penguin colony in Oamaru. The Royal Albatross Centre has a glass viewing observatory where you can see those impressive sea-faring birds nesting or even stretching out their wings to their 3m wingspan. The Cape Kidnappers gannet colony is made the most accessible gannet colony in the world by the fact we can drive you up to the plateau, so you’re within metres of these gorgeous birds. And right down the end of the size spectrum, you have the tiny little blue penguins on Oamaru that waddle out of the surf in the evenings, in rafts of many birds, on the way to their burrows and nest boxes. There, you can watch from a grandstand, to keep the penguins out of harm’s way yet give you an incredible view of these small creatures.

If you’d like to encounter birds of the land and forest, head to Zealandia or Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre. Zealandia has 225 ha of predator-free sanctuary land for birds such as the mammal-like kiwi, the flitting hihi, loud tieke, huge takahe and many other animals such as tuatara and eels – what’s more, it’s conveniently close to the Wellington city centre. Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre is an incredible place in the Wairarapa, much larger and more remote than Zealandia, where you can see all these birds as well as their captive-breeding aviaries (breeding for release).

Gannets at Cape Kidnappers

We’re very lucky here at Gannet Safaris Overland to be visiting New Zealand’s largest gannet colony, with an incredible 20,000 birds. We have the privilege of driving through the country’s largest privately-owned sanctuary that is otherwise not accessible to the public (it is also a working farm and the site of an exclusive lodge). Driving up within a few metres of the birds makes our tours accessible to all ages and stages, and we can even run a private sunrise tour by Range Rover for those that are looking for something extra special.

You’re spoilt for choice in New Zealand for bird watching – we hope you manage to visit as many of these as you can, and if it’s gannets you’re after, we endeavour to provide you with the best experience possible here with us at Gannet Safaris Overland, at the magnificent Cape Kidnappers plateau colony.

  • Cape Kidnappers International Golf Course

    Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 7,147 yards (6,569 meters) and will challenge golfers of all skill levels. Completed in 2004, our spectacular New Zealand golf course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape and with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays high above the ocean atop dramatic cliffs.

  • Te Awanga Estate Winery

    Nestled on an elevated site in the Te Awanga foothills, our Cellar Door has views down through 42 acres of vines, across the Te Awanga basin and out to the Pacific Ocean.
    Decked out in white and plywood, our Cellar Door, with its sea views and salty air, is reminiscent of a New Zealand summer spent relaxing at the bach (holiday home). Chill, take your time, and taste your way across the full Rod McDonald Wines range – Wildsong, Trademark, Quarter Acre, Mister and One Off.

  • Kuku Cottages

    A beautifully decorated private, sunny cottage. Only minutes to the beach, a choice of wineries, Cape Kidnappers world renowned golf course and Hawkes Bay’s famous bike trails. Fully self-contained and ideal for entertaining both inside and out.

  • Clearview Winery

    Established in 1987, owner-operated Clearview Estate is located in Te Awanga on the Cape Coast Hawke’s Bay cycle trail.  The Estate’s restaurant and cellar door are long-established havens of Mediterranean inspired hospitality.

  • Clifton Glamping

    Hidden amongst the rolling hills of Clifton Station – Hawkes Bay, your luxury accommodation with a difference awaits.
    Clifton Glamping, the perfect balance of experience and luxury. Allowing you to enjoy the memorable aspects of camping while appreciating the finer comforts of private luxury accommodation.

  • Te Awanga Cottages

    These two delightful Cottages are situated in a picturesque Hawke’s Bay rural coastal setting; featuring beach walks, cycle trails, wine tasting, golfing and alfresco dining, yet only a 15-20 minute scenic drive to the towns of Hastings, Havelock North and Napier.

  • Elephant Hill Winery

    Elephant Hill is a stunning and innovative winery estate located on the idyllic Te Awanga coast in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

  • Hygge – Clifton Bay Cafe

    Pronounced “hoo-ga”, a great beachside Cafe based on the concept of cozy contentment, and well being. Enjoying the small things in life!

  • Haumoana Farmyard Zoo

    Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo offers a wide range of animals, Horse treks,& Ridding lessons.A picnic area yo accomodate large groups such as Birthdays, work functions & Xmas Parties.

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