Birdwatching or birding is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of birds is a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for bird sounds.
Between September to March, you may spot breeding pairs of Oystercatchers. Summer is perfect for birding at the De Hoop Vlei.
Gates are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. in summer and from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. in winter.
The dry season from November until March. With the first rain in April tens of thousands ducks get attracted.
For my opinion the the dry season from December to April. Although you might see the Olive Ridley Turtles at the rainy season and reptiles and amphibians are more abundant.
The begin of the seabird breeding season is November with the peak from December to February. In March and April, you already spot fewer tropicbirds breeding under bushes. These months are also the best ones to spot boobies breeding.
The dry season from January to May is the best time for your vacation on Trinidad and Togabo. Showers can occur throughout the year. During the rainy season, it may frequently rain each day, but the sky clears up in between. There is often a short break between mid-September until mid-October Luckily, Trinidad and Tobago are south of the hurricane belt and hardly experience any hurricane, but it can happen as it did in September 1963 and September 2004. Trinidad is more likely to be affected between August and September.
The gannets start nesting in August and stay latest until April when the chicks are fledging. Muriwai is one of only three mainland gannet colonies. This bird sanctuary is easily accessible, and you get relatively close to the birds which make Muriwai unique. More than a thousand pairs of gannets nest at Muriwai each year.
Getting there is easy: It's just a forty minutes drive from Auckland to Muriwai. From the car park leads a short walking track to the main gannet colony and a viewing platform.
Hidden Gem Tour
From Auckland: The gannet colony was a must-do for us! When staying in Auckland, we suggest booking a hidden gem: The Vineyards, Honey, & Black Sand Beaches of Muriwai Tour from Auckland. These guys are amazing and so knowledgable! You visit Muriwai Beach with its gannets as well as a private wine and honey tasting tour. Plus, it's extremely comfortable, as you get picked up at your hotel in Auckland.
5 Highlights and Must-Know Tips
- The mating rituals are spectacular to observe and occur at the beginning of the nesting season
- The breeding population reaches a peak in November
- In summer, around December to February, you can watch how the chicks get fed
- In March/April, the juveniles leave the nest
- Late autumn and beginning of winter, from May until July, most of the gannets migrate to Australia
The popular Muriwai Beach is patrolled during summer. Swimming between the flags is allowed
The summer is the peak season. From December to March weekends are more crowded due to beach visitors and surfers. There is limited parking! Therefore, visit the colony either early in the morning or late afternoon if you visit on weekends. Mid-week and spring are less busy. It's also usually more crowded on sunny days. On the other hand, there are very few visitors during cold, rough days.
Warmest months are in the summer from December until March often with pleasant temperatures around 20 °C at daytime and 10-12°C in the night. The coldest months are in the winter from June to August, but it's not freezing. Most precipitation occurs in winter but it already starts in May with its peak in July. Driest months are during the summer from November to February/March. The best months for swimming at Muriwai Beach are January until March, but the sea temperature is still lower than 20 °C.
Tip: Be prepared for the windswept coastline and bring a warm jacket. If you are downwind, you experience the penetrating smell of gannet poo.
During the dry season (May to September) rain is rare, it's less hot and there are fewer mosquitos. This time of the year is the peak season and prices are at the top level.