Gannet Colony Tour
There are around 9000 birds here each year and we are able to visit between September and April.
The Gannet Colony is two kms beyond the Lighthouse. It's a 20 minute walk across the flat sand on the spit's end to view the colony. You may get your feet wet here, as we stop to observe the gannets for 15 minutes. It is often a two way process - the gannets are very inquisitive and will fly low over us to get a better view. Read more
We take the bus back to the lighthouse keepers' cottage for refreshments. While there you can explore the reserve and soak up the serenity.
The last stop is to climb one of the huge dunes for a look into Golden Bay and beyond. The Gannet Colony Tour is limited to 20 people per day so it is important to book in advance.
Gannets usually choose rocky outcrops as breeding and nesting sites, but the Farewell Spit colony is the only one in New Zealand that is right at sea level, affording excellent views of the parent birds caring for their young. We have the only license granted by the Department of Conservation to visit this colony, which is New Zealand's newest nesting site for Gannets.
This tour includes: