Cape Kidnappers is a headland at the southeastern extremity of Hawke Bay on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island and sits at the end of an 8 km peninsula which protrudes into the Pacific Ocean. It is 20 km south-east of the city of Napier. Access to the Cape by road stops at Clifton, which is the departure point for many tourists. The Cape Kidnappers Golf Course lies between the headland and the nearby coastal community of Te Awanga.
The headland was named after an attempt by local Māori to abduct the servant of a member of Captain Cook's crew aboard HMS Endeavour, during a landfall there on 15 October 1769. The crew member was Tiata, a Tahitian accompanying Cook's interpreter Tupaia. Cook's journal states that Tiata was in the water near Endeavour when a Māori fishing boat pulled alongside and dragged him aboard. Sailors from Endeavour′s deck immediately opened fire on the fishing boat, killing two Māori and wounding a third. Tiata promptly jumped overboard and swam back to Endeavour, while the remaining Māori paddled their craft back to shore. A 4-pounder cannon was fired after them from Endeavour′s quarterdeck, but the Māori boat was soon out of range. Cook described the cape as having steep white cliffs on either side, with two large rocks resembling hay stacks near the headland.
Important Bird Area
- Beaglehole 1968, pp. 177-178
- BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cape Kidnappers. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-02-18.
- Beaglehole, J.C., ed. (1968). The Journals of Captain James Cook on His Voyages of Discovery, vol. I:The Voyage of the Endeavour 1768–1771. Cambridge University Press. OCLC 223185477.
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