Sandy's Whare

Full Version: How Cape Kidnappers was named.
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The area is now quite a large gannet colony, it also has a golf course there, but back in the day when Captain Cook was exploring the area it wasn't named..

The reason the cape was given the name 'Cape Kidnappers' was because there was a bit of a skirmish going on between Captain Cook and the local Iwi there, the local maori waited until they could catch Cook unaware and kidnapped one of the crew from Cooks ship.. If I remember correctly it was a cabin boy who got kidnapped..

It took quite a bit of bargaining and talking, but eventually the crew member was given back.. Captain Cook decided that 'Cape Kidnappers was a good name given what happened and the names stuck..

Nowadays there's daily trips along the cape, those that're up to walking can walk the 6 miles along the beach to see the gannets, this walk can only be done once the tide is on the way out as it comes right in to the cliffs at high tide.. There's also a tour company that takes bus loads of people out along the top of the cliffs to the gannets, I've never done the trip this way, but I believe the folk doing it get a bit of a talk about the area and the history behind it..

I have been up on the cliffs and far enough along to see some of the views up there, most of the Hawkes Bay region can be seen, both north and south, on a good day the view can stretch as far as Mahia in the north and 'Young Nicks Head' can be seen in northern Hawkes Bay.. 'Young Nicks Head' is another story, and I've forgotten a couple of the facts about it at the moment..

As far as I know Kidnappers is the only gannet colony in the country, and possibly the southern hemisphere.. The gannets will be leaving the area soon as the year's breading season is all but over, but they'll be back to nest in the same area, and with the same mate next spring..

I think it's worth a trip to go out there, now the minibus trips go out, the 3 hour trip can see you learn a bit, see some great views and get to see the gannets of course...