Cape Kidnappers, Gannets, Cycling, Honey and Garden Sculptures — Hawke’s Bay Trip: Day 2

Day two yielded some of our best pictures of the trip. It was an early start (before 6). And usually pre-coffee Andrea on little sleep is not a fun one. Fortunately, our gannets tour to Cape Kidnappers, which started at 7, gave us such spectacular views that I didn’t mind the lack of caffeine.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 4.40.07 PM

A shot of the beach before leaving.


The gannets tour consisted of a tractor ride out to Cape Kidnappers from the small town of Clive, a half-hour drive from Napier. I’m so glad we went with the tractor because it would have taken much more time and energy to walk, not to mention there was peace of mind in knowing we wouldn’t get caught by the tide. The tide was also the reason we left at 7. As it was, it took a little more than an hour’s ride to reach the gannets colony.

Along the way, our tractor driver/guide stopped to point out some of the cool geological aspects of the cliffs we passed, including fault lines from the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake; erosion from rainwater; and layers of ash, coal, etc.




One of the fault lines from the earthquake.


(Below) Layers of volcanic ash compressed after millions of years.

Also, I don’t think you can see any shells here, but our guide talked about how the Maori would bury oyster shells after eating the meat because throwing it back into the ocean, which provided the food, would be disrespectful.


More cool layers (and more proof of the earthquake)


Looking back towards Napier:IMG_5440

Cape Kidnappers, so named because one of Captain Cook’s cabin boys was kidnapped there by some of the local Maori. They eventually returned him.

At the time of Cook’s landing, there were three rock islands like the one you see here, but two have eroded away.

IMG_5523 IMG_5540

After an hour on the tractor, it was a bit of a trek to get to the gannet colony.

IMG_5532These trees always remind me of something out of Dr. Seuss.


IMG_5604After the first incline, we had to cross a paddock with some sheep to reach the final peak.


I really hope none of these sheep get past that fence.IMG_5613

Halfway up.IMG_5648

At long last: the gannets.IMG_5663 IMG_5662 IMG_5693

Cape Kidnappers (and more gannets)IMG_5673

This might be the only picture of Johanna and I from the trip in which we’re both smiling and have our eyes open. So naturally the background is overexposed. Oh, well.


Captain Obvious was here. If you can’t read it, the sign says, “Unstable area. Please keep off.” Either that or the fenceposts are levitating.IMG_5766IMG_5767


The ride back:IMG_5789

The diagonal chunks of land with trees on top show how the earth was cut up from the earthquake, and subsequently is sinking into the water.IMG_5809

More gannetsIMG_5825 IMG_5811IMG_5835Next, Johanna and I rented some bikes and meandered around the area’s beaches, farmland and wineries.


Our bikes were pretty nifty (and imported from the States, funnily enough):


We took our chances. Didn’t see any cows, actually.

IMG_5919We headed next to the town of Havelock North, where we stopped at the Arataki Honey Vistor Centre. That might not sound very exciting, but the samples alone are worth the stop. Also, they sell heaps of honey-influenced products that I never would have thought would have honey in them: beeswax candles, lotions, candies, cooking sauces. Some of my American friends and family will find some of these in their stockings this Christmas (well, belatedly).

From there we headed to the Birdwoods Gallery and Sculpture Gardens. We went there because I saw it was the top-ranked TripAdvisor activity for Havelock North, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was free. One of the employees swore up and down that she knew me, and after about five minutes of trying to figure out if she did (we never did find a connection), Johanna and I took a wander around the gardens, which featured Zimbabwean sculptures. Here are just a few of my favorites.

IMG_5934 IMG_6012 IMG_6010 IMG_5987 IMG_5974 IMG_5966 IMG_5936I just liked the scenery (particularly the horse) in the background of this one.

IMG_6020We got there just as they were closing, so we didn’t check out the sweets shop, but I’ve been told you can get candies there that you can’t find in most of New Zealand.

All in all, a terrific, jam-packed day. I wound up with the mother of all sunburns (and yes, I did put on sunscreen, Mom. Twice.), but it was worth it.


About Andrea Nicole

NZ enthusiast in the PNW. Internationally published writer, educator, grammar nerd, genealogist, and all-around storyteller. Recovering homebody. @Whitworth and @WGU alumna. #edchat
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