• Donna Thomas CTC, 118 South Bellevue Avenue, Langhorne Borough Pa 19047
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16 Years as Travel and Leisure Magazine Top Travel Expert for New Zealand and Australia

Travel and Leisure says: "Donna Thomas has explored many corners of North and South Islands in search of hidden gems. She can help birdwatchers see the endangered yellow-eyed penguin or send avid trekkers on guided hikes to secret waterfalls in Paparoa National Park."


Hawkes Bay

Hawke's Bay is situated on the east coast of the North Island. The region bears the former name of what is now Hawke Bay, a large semi-circular bay which extends for 100 kilometres from northeast to southwest from the Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers. The Hawke's Bay region includes the hilly coastal land around the northern and central bay, the floodplains of the Wairoa River in the north, the wide fertile Heretaunga Plains around Hastings in the south, and a mountainous interior atretching up to the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges. The region's boundaries vary somewhat from the former provincial boundaries of Hawke's Bay, and some towns in the Manawatu-Wanganui Region to the southwest, such as Dannevirke and Woodville regard themselves as still part of the Hawke's Bay. The region consists of Wairoa District, Hastings District, Napier City, and Central Hawke's Bay District as well as a small part of Taupo District. The main urban areas are Napier and Hastings. Smaller communities include Wairoa, Taradale, Havelock North, Tikokino, Waipawa, Waipukurau, and Takapau. The climate is dry and temperate. Hawke's Bay is renowned for its horticulture with large orchards and vineyards on the plains. In the hilly parts of the region sheep and cattle farming predominates, with forestry blocks in the roughest areas.

Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers is a headland at the southwestern extremity of Hawke Bay on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. It is located 20 kilometres southeast of the city of Napier. The promontory sits at the end of a eight kilometre long peninsula which protrudes into the Pacific Ocean. It was named after an attempt by local Maori to abduct one of the crew of Capt. James Cook's ship Endeavour in 1769. The Cape is the site of a large gannet colony. Gannets, members of the booby family, are usually island breeders but have made a exception at Cape Kidnappers. Adult Australasian gannets have a wing span of up to two metres and weigh around two kilograms. Whilst ungainly on land, gannets are graceful in flight and spectacular when diving into the sea to catch fish.

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