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“Gannet Overload”

Muriwai Gannet Colony
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$91.12*
and up
Full-Day Auckland Scenic Tour
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$227.81*
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Private Tour: Kumeu Country and Cuisine Tour from Auckland
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$525.71*
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Private Tour of Muriwai Beach and Gannet Colony from Auckland
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed December 3, 2013

If you haven’t seen the stunningly beautiful Australasian Gannet, the Mariwai Gannet Colony is the place to go. From August to March these birds occupy the rocks and cliffs around the Muriwai beach area where they are either preparing nesting areas for breeding, breeding or hatching and raising chicks. Once fledged the Gannet chicks simply jump off the cliffs and start to soar their way over to Australia. In a few years time they will return to the same spot to establish their own nesting spots.
It’s easy to spend the better part of a day watching the comings and goings of these birds as they soar effortlessly to and from there nesting areas. The courting and mating behaviors of the paired couples, which stay together 2 or 3 years, are fascinating to watch as they have an elaborate greeting ritual when one or the other return to the nest.
I would suggest that you take some good binoculars with you for better viewing. If you can, choose a windier day as the birds have an easier time soaring. If you are picture taking the best time for light is in the morning or late afternoon.
Also, visit some of the other areas in the Muriwai area; especially the beautiful and extensive black sand beaches.
The drive from Auckland is also very pretty, especially once you leave the main highway and turn off for Muriwai. The road meanders through some gorgeous countryside with lovely green rolling hills full of iconic New Zealand sheep.

1  Thank TravellerNanaimoB_C_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 - 239 of 300 reviews

Reviewed November 3, 2013

I must admit I was not particularly excited about seeing the Gannet Colony on Muriwai Beach, but this was a great stop. The beach is beautiful and worth seeing even without the bird colony, There's a great walk along the cliffs from where you can see the Gannet Colonies on the cliffs. We saw the birds nesting and interacting. This is worth the trip and I would highly recommend it.

1  Thank 48andHappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Take a short hike across the beach and up over the rocks to view this amazing colony of birds. We watched them dive, dip and soar across the water to the rock outcroppings. Views of the beach, water, rocks and foliage were amazing. We stayed for quite a while just watching their antics until the rain drove us back into our car.

2  Thank Sojourner_mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

This is a great tourist destination. The Gannet colony is amazing. There is good walkways to get to the viewing areas, and there are 100's and 100's of Gannet's. While you are there, walk down on to the beach and even have a swim if the weather is good .. Well worth a visit

Thank Bob_the_Aussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

Only 40 minutes drive west of downtown Auckland and you will arrive at the West Coast of Auckland. Enjoy the tranquility of the ocean and waves... with the rocks decorated with a colony of Gannets. These birds are mates for life!

Thank Leon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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