A View to the Cape
Yesterday’s post talked about terroir and the stony nature of the grape growing soils in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay wine region. The image used to illustrate the post was taken at Te Awhanga Beach. Here is another image of the beach, this time taken along the gravelly shore towards Cape Kidnappers in the distance.
Apart from being a wine region, Hawkes Bay is a tourist region as well. Much of the activity is centered on the city of Napier which was rebuilt in an art deco style after a devastating earthquake flattened the city in 1931. In recent years the city has hosted an annual “Art Deco Weekend” when thousands of people from all over New Zealand and overseas come to dress up in the fashions of the 1930s and celebrate Napier’s resurrection.
Long before the art deco event came into existence New Zealand families and tourists alike came to Te Awhanga and nearby Clifton beaches to the south of the city to camp for the summer, and to visit the gannet colony on the cliffs at Cape Kidnappers. Many walk the 5 hour return journey at low tide along the base of the cliffs between Clifton Beach and the Cape. An enterprising local farmer offered an alternative, however. For a family-affordable fee he would tow a trailer carrying holiday makers behind a tractor along the narrow stretch of sand below the cliffs to the gannet colony, and bring them back again before the tide came in. This is how we first took our family of three young boys to see the gannets. Everyone who undertakes that journey (it still operates in the summer) comes back with happy memories of the adventure. For some, the gannets are a added bonus!
The Cape Kidnappers Gannet Reserve is managed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.