Last weekend, we drove through the winding Rimutakas to get to our hiking destination: Patuna Chasm. It’s a one hour and half road trip from Lower Hutt to the jump off point in Patuna Farm in Martinborough, which provides the access to the ‘Patuna Chasm Walkway.’ We arrived at the farm before 12 midday where we paid an entrance fee of $15 each and received our printed instructions to go through the walkway. We didn’t have much time to have our heavy lunches though before we started.
The first part of the walk took us through pine forest, bushes, farmlands, and streams. Not too long into the hike, we passed by a wave-like cliff in the limestone formation. After some time, we had to descend through a ladder to get into the chasm. Walking upstream in the cold waters took us to a moss-covered, umbrella-shaped waterfall. Some more photos here and there, we then turned back down the stream with beautiful limestone walls surrounding us.
On our way back, we still passed through rock formation with shell fossils, getting soaked (up to our knees), minding our way on the slippery rocks as the caves got darker, with lesser light coming in. Slowly we found our way back, the lands slowly becoming familiar again.
Quite exhausted, we very much anticipated our super late lunch at a burger place in Upper Hutt! (But that’s another story altogether).
Things to Remember
- You are walking through streams / river
- The rocks in some parts are slippery
- The water is 1 meter deep in places
- Entry to the chasm is by a ladder, it is 8 metres long
- There are places with Onga Onga (native stinging nettle). Do not touch them.
What to Bring
- Lunch and water bottle
- First aid equipment
- Suitable clothing like shorts, warm top, closed-toed shoes
- Extra change of clothes
- $15 cash for entrance fee