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We finally made it to Cape Kidnappers today! Cape Kidnappers is reached by an 8km each way, tide dependent walk along the beach past steep cliffs to a large mainland gannet colony. Although we have been meaning to go out there for a while, due to the tide times we have been unable to do the walk until today. It was definitely worth the wait!
We set off early, arriving in the car park just as 4 tractors with trailers full of people head out onto the beach. This is the option for more well-off or lazy people. With the tractor tracks marking the route along the beach, we follow past a campsite, and then on to a narrow strip of beach hemmed in by sea and steep cliffs. The rock formations and deep colours make this a photographers paradise, and the hard packed sand make for an easy, but rather long walk. The route seems to be never ending, as rounding each set of cliffs we find that we have much further to walk. We eye numerous motorcyclists and 4 wheel drives longingly as they pass us in an almost constant stream. We finally reach a headland with the first of the gannet colonies, and its then a short scramble over rocks before reaching the path up to Cape Kidnappers.
Cape Kidnappers itself affords expansive views along the coast and out to sea, along with the famous gannet colony. The gannet chicks, although quite big now, are still easily identified by their fuzzy white down feathers. Its quite weird how undisturbed the birds are by having people walk within a metre of their nesting site, which is on the ground and not on a cliff as one would imagine.
All too soon we have to turn back in a race to get back before the tide comes in and cuts us off. The tide came in unexpectedly fast near the cape, almost cutting us off at one of the headlands. The rest of the walk however is a little more protected giving ample time to make it back. Back at the car park, I treated myself to a Rush Munroe ice cream, a delicious Hawkes Bay speciality – some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted!
Got a phone call in the evening about work for the next week. Seems I’ve got a job leaf plucking for tomorrow at least, and maybe a few more days if I’m lucky.
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