So recently we went on a road trip to Muriwai Beach to see the Gannet Colony. Muriwai is one of three mainland Gannet colonies. The biggest in New Zealand is in Hawkes Bay at Cape Kidnappers.
Here are a couple of interesting things I learnt on our adventure:
What is a Gannet?
Gannet is a sea bird that hunts fish. They live in large colonies by cliffs. The Muriwai Gannet colony has close to 1200 pairs of Gannets. During nesting season each Gannet pair lays one egg. At the end of the nesting season the young fledglings migrate to Australia.
When is the Gannet nesting season?
Gannet nesting season is from August to April every year.
During the spring from August to November the eggs are laid. In November the breeding population is at its peak.
In the summer months from December to February the chicks hatch from their eggs and can be seen feeding, this is the best time to visit.
March to April the young chicks migrate to Australia.
How do you get there?
It is a short drive of 40 minutes to reach Muriwai Beach. I strongly recommend a jacket because it gets quite windy on the walk.
The walk leads to a look out and you can see the Gannet colony nesting below you.
Apparently you can spot some dolphins, seals and penguins in the sea too. We didn’t have much luck! But if you are fortunate enough to see something , let me know…..in the comments below.
This was a great little adventure for me and the kids, lots to learn and its free. There is a little cafe as you enter we had some hot chocolates from there and they were delicious!
I love cool trips like this, let me know if you know of any others ……..