Hawke's Bay's iconic gannet colony is still fully accessible to the public, despite a perception it is currently cut off following the Cape Kidnappers slip.

Gannet Safaris Overland is still running tours, as it did not use the beach to access the colony.

Manager Sophie Phillips said the public seem to believe there is no access out to the colony.

"We are fully operational as we drive over the sheep station and wildlife sanctuary.

Advertisement

"Our tour is fully guided with our knowledgeable drivers.

"We give passengers the wonderful opportunity to learn all about the local history, the station and of course the remarkable story of the gannets."

She said Gannet Safaris Overland was saddened by the impact the slip has had on beach access, especially the impact on Gannet Beach Adventures, which took tourists along the beach in tractors before walking up to the colony.

Cape Kidnappers remains open following the collapse of a cliff, it is just the beach which is closed to public access. Photo / File
Cape Kidnappers remains open following the collapse of a cliff, it is just the beach which is closed to public access. Photo / File

General manager of Tourism Hawke's Bay, Annie Dundas, said the gannet colony was one of New Zealand's iconic tourist attractions.

She said it was difficult to tell whether the misunderstanding was causing people not to visit Hawke's Bay, but it was changing what they were doing in the region.

She said it was important for locals to understand the cape itself was still open, so they could pass that information on to visiting friends and family.

"What we don't want is people thinking they can't get any access at all."

Other businesses on the cape remain open, it is just the beach which is currently not able to be accessed.

A large slip at Cape Kidnappers has stalled tourist operations, but not all have stopped. Photo / Supplied
A large slip at Cape Kidnappers has stalled tourist operations, but not all have stopped. Photo / Supplied

The colony at Cape Kidnappers is the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world. The birds reside there between September and April, before heading off to warmer climates for the winter.

Hastings District Council is meeting on Tuesday to hear an interim report about the stability and safety of the cliff at Cape Kidnappers.

Council would most likely prefer the beach remained closed temporarily while a risk assessment was done.

No decision about permanent closure would be made at the meeting, however, it was not off the table for future consideration.