This is your opportunity to see how New Zealand used to be with a visit to ancient rainforest and black sand beach as well as seeing one of the world’s largest seabirds in their natural environment. A short drive from your ship through the wine growing areas of west Auckland takes you to the cliff-tops overlooking the spectacular coastline of the Tasman Sea. Here is your chance to see ocean-dwelling gannets in one of the few mainland nesting sites in the world. At maturity these birds have a wingspan of up to 2 metres and can reach speeds of around 140km/h when diving for food. You then visit Muriwai, one of Auckland’s famous black sand beaches, where you have the opportunity to feel the soft sand beneath your feet. From here, travel to Cascades Kauri Park to view 1,000 year-old Kauri trees. Your entertaining and knowledgeable guide will relate stories about the native species as you stroll amongst these ancient trees and giant ferns.
Take your camera for rare images from the Gannet Colony, the spectacular black sands on the rugged West Coast and the scenic fauna at the Reserve.
Light refreshments will be provided in Muriwai.
The breeding season for gannets is between the months of September and April each year.
To make your day as enjoyable as possible, please ensure that you wear comfortable flat-soled shoes, clothing suited to the weather conditions, a jacket and hat, and bring along some sunscreen and bottled water.