Muriwai Gannet Colony
Muriwai Gannet Colony
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles449 reviews
Excellent
344
Very good
101
Average
4
Poor
0
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Patricia C
Houston, TX115 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
Absolutely wonderful to visit these amazing birds to view them up close but without disturbing them. This colony of gannets is located about 40 minutes from Auckland and is a "must" for nature lovers. We totally enjoyed watching the birds zoom around in the wind and protect their little chicks. Lots of fun!
Written December 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Neil B
Auckland, New Zealand1,437 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
Muriwai is a spectacular west coast beach. The wind roars and the waves pound in, making it popular with both gannets and kite surfers.

There’s a car park with toilets just off the beach. From there it’s only a few minutes walk (uphill) to several lookouts that give great views over the gannet colony (gannets here from August to March). Don’t stop there though - we did an 11km loop walk, carrying on from the gannets inland (and further uphill), before following the road gently curving back down towards the beach, then circling around the golf course before walking back along the beach to the car park. Search for ‘Muriwai Beach and Gannet Colony’ on AllTrails for more detailed directions.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ronald M
Loveland, CO271 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
No question, this is a must see if you are in the area. It is an easy climb to the platforms above the birds and you can see the coming and going of the birds as they feed their chicks. This is a large nesting area so be prepared for some Odors that may be a little unpleasant, but the view of the birds and beach line are just great for some memorable photos.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

everlook photography
Adelaide, Australia42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Family
From August to March each year, over 1000 gannets return to the cliffs at Muriwai Beach to begin their nesting season. Each gannet pair remains together for several years - some mating for life - and produce a single egg each season.

This location is approximately 45 minutes west of downtown Auckland. When you arrive there is a carpark and two areas from which you can view the gannets. In summer it can get busy; we visited in October just before the tourist season began.
Written December 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RustySoCal
Carlsbad, CA551 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
Beautiful rock formations and bird watching... bring a magnet to see how the iron ore sand just sticks to it!
Written August 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wolverine012
New Westminster, Canada95 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Family
Driving to Muriwai Beach, there are plenty of signs for the gannet colony so you wouldn't get lost. Once you're there, there is a free parking lot with great views of the ocean and the surf, and two short trails (5 mins) to get to view points of which to observe the colony. There are also other trails to get down to the beach, where there was an artist making pictures in the sand when we were there.

You can definitely smell the guano, and get good close ups of the birds on the camera, on their nests or in the air. You can tell the young from the adults by the different coloration. A good binoculars would also help. Apparently this is seasonal so make sure you check if the birds are there before coming out.

There are also some hang gliders who use the cliff and they make for a great contrast visual with the gannets and other seabirds.

After you should grab some ice cream at the cafe just on the road out.
Written April 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shona S
Auckland, New Zealand1,338 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Visiting the gannet colony here is now much more accessible to everyone with the new paths. The gannets are fascinating to watch, especially as they come into land and have to negotiate the winds. You can observe the birds at such close range, the are such beautiful birds. A walk down to the beach is for the more sprightly. Parking is free and there are toilets located here as well.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SouthSeasAmerican
Luganville, Vanuatu336 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Family
Driving down the hill towards the Murawai coast, you will come to a crossroads. Straight ahead the road is signposted as the entrance to Murawai Regional Park. That road leads to Murawai Beach; but for the best gannet viewing, take the road to the left and up the hill to the first available right turn into the car park. (There is a toilet at this car park, but no picnic facilities.) We went to Murawai Gannet Colony in late November. The gannets were engaged in a wide range of activities, from courtship and nest building, to sitting eggs or feeding fuzzy chicks. The gannets are crowded onto Otakamiro Point, the sea stack just off the point, and the more distant Oaia Island. Some are gracefully flying offshore, while others you can view within centimeters. The gannets are the stars of the show, but there are also nesting terns on the cliff edges and sides. Gulls are nesting farther down on the cliffs. At the base of the cliff on the south side is Maukatia Sea Cave and Maukatia Beach. Murawai Beach is to the north, as are the toilets, picnic areas, playground and campground. There was plenty to hold our 6-year-old daughter's attention. The areas at the base of the cliffs can be dangerous at high tide, so it is better to go when the tide is out.
Written December 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

julsbalfour
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
This is one of my favourite places to visit in Auckland, the Murawai Gannet Colony. The birds are in residency from August to March. Not many chicks about yet but pairs nesting in every available space. Raucously claiming their spot. Gliding in to land within inches with their well controlled flight paths. So elegant and graceful in the air.

The promise of new life, flying off into the blue sky as their forbears have before then on a course breed into their DNA to travel over the straight to Australia as soon as they can control their wings.

Soon there will be fluffy chicks adding to the noise, mouths open expectantly waiting on food from a parent. The stink of guano somewhat comforting, adding to the uniqueness of this site. Their numbers have pushed some birds from the crowded islands to the mainland so you can get quite close to the birds from the viewing platforms.

There is also a small colony of terns that I also love to watch.

The black sand of the beach, the cave, fishermen on the rocks, the surfers and waves all add to the experience of this special place. I always bring my out of town visitors here and true, not all love it as much as me, but check it out because it might be your kinda place too.
Written November 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Found_Lost_Key
New Zealand1,192 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
Free parking when you take a right turn off Waitea Road. (free toilets and wheelchair access here) great views of the beach from the car park. Set off north on foot for a few mins to the first gannet view point where you can get up close for photos etc. Wheelchair access is limited. The second platform further to the north is just a short walk away also which offers views up Muriwai beach and its surfers. In March there was still some big fluffy babies being fed and the slightly older birds, getting ready for their first flights.
There is no shelters at the viewing platforms, so if it looks like a rough windy,rainy day, dress accordingly. Allow yourself about 45 mins to an hour on a nice day.
Written March 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Muriwai Gannet Colony - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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