HAWKE’S BAY, NEW ZEALAND – Corporate groups visiting The Farm at Cape Kidnappers can get up close and personal with the flightless kiwi, the country's national bird.
Kiwis are a rare sight in the wild, and the Kiwi Discovery Walks offer group delegates the unique opportunity of seeing the bird in its natural habitat. About the size of a domestic fowl, kiwis can easily be cuddled in two hands.
Small groups of four can go on the guided tour with kiwi expert Dr John McLennan and his team. Groups start the programme by tracking the kiwis' location using radio and other monitoring devices. Once there, guests can observe the birds being weighed and afterward, get the chance to hold them and pose for a photo-op, under the supervision of the experienced guides.
The tours are offered twice a day, once in the morning and in the afternoon, and they last for about two hours depending on the kiwis’ accessibility. Rates are NZ$350 (US$286) per person and NZ$550 (US$450) per couple, with part of the proceeds going to Cape Sanctuary in support of its wildlife protection and conservation efforts.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is a five-star luxury lodge set across 2,428ha of open land. It is part of Cape Sanctuary, a privately owned wildlife restoration project in New Zealand. Today, the sanctuary is home to some 55 kiwis.
Kiwi Discovery Walks is available from mid-October to late May as the kiwis are subject to seasonal breeding variations.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers also offers a range of other activities for corporate groups to enjoy. Among them is the Gannet Safari Tour, where groups can book a private tour around Cape Kidnappers to see a colony of gannets nesting and going about their daily routine. A private two and a half-hour tour is priced at NZ$350 (US$286) for up to four guests, while a coach tour – for 18 to 21 passengers – goes for NZ$66 (US$54) per person.
Horse Treks are also hosted on the property. Groups of up to three at a time can thread through pine forests and visit lookout points for spectacular views of the Tuki Tuki Valley and the Pacific Ocean – on horseback. The tour is priced from NZ$320 (US$262) to NZ$560 (US$458) per person for a three- to eight-hour trek.
The view from one of the rooms.
Bigger groups – up to 56 persons – can also opt for walking trails, where they can explore not only the vicinity of Cape Kidnappers but as well as the rural property outside of it.
For the more adventurous, ATV quad bikes are available for use and mountain biking is another fun option.
The Farm is open to hosting corporate retreats and groups have the option of booking the entire Lodge, which is composed of 10 Hilltop Suites, two Hilltop Rooms, eight Ridge Suites and four Lodge Suites – a total of 24 rooms accommodating up to 48 persons. Another lodging option is the Owner’s Cottage, which can house up to eight people.
Meetings are commonly held in the property’s wine cellar, which has room enough for 16 delegates at a sit-down gathering. It is equipped with wifi, a whiteboard and projector with other meeting equipment available upon request. Wine tastings may be incorporated in the meeting package, with resident sommeliers or Hawke’s Bay winemakers invited to conduct the classes.
For more information visit www.capekidnappers.com.