Bára & Kuba on the road

Hidden Secret of Ruakokoputuna River

Hidden Secret of Ruakokoputuna River

After a big Christmas break which we spent around South Island, we kept with exploring places that are a bit closer to our base in Wellington.

We planned to stay over the night at our favorite spot at Castlepoint and on the way there to make a walk to Honeycomb Rock on the Wairarapa coast.

A hiding cow on the way to Honeycomb Rock
A hiding cow on the way to Honeycomb Rock

To reach the beginning of the walk we had to drive a decent distance along a gravel road which is always a bit painful for our old car. Basically, the whole track goes through a privately-owned land, so we were constantly surrounded by sheep or cows. Most of the time, there was no clear path and we just followed wooden poles stuck among cattle.

Lazy seals relaxing on the beach
Lazy seals relaxing on the beach

In about two hours, we reached an outcrop risen above rocky coast. The walls really resembled cells which gave the rock it’s name. On adjacent rocks, there was a small number of relaxing fur seals. They didn’t care about anything and just sniffled bit louder when Jakub got too close.

Honeycomb Rock named because of the cell-like pattern
Honeycomb Rock named because of the cell-like pattern

The drive across to Castlepoint took a couple of hours and when we got there it’d already got dark. Our plans to stay over the night at the carpark were thwarted by a sign which allowed staying only to self-contained cars. It was a bit surprising as the sign hadn’t been there last time when we’d made our surf trip.

The beautiful Wairarapa coastline
The beautiful Wairarapa coastline

Nevertheless, we found another spot and the next day in the morning we woke up to a wonderful sunny day and had a great view of see right from the boot of our car.

With such a gorgeous weather, we decided to visit Patuna Farm and do a Patuna Chasm walk which my workmate had recommended. So, after morning surf session for Jakub and coffee for me, we headed off to Ruakokoputuna.

Part of the track ran across farmland
Part of the track ran across farmland

When we arrived at the farm we were given a safety induction and a paper with a detailed description of the walk. The beginning of the walk was marked with a weed spray arrow on one of the tree trunks along the road. It wasn’t clearly visible, so first, we passed it by, of course.

At the beginning the cold water wasn’t bad during such a hot day
At the beginning the cold water wasn’t bad during such a hot day

The first half of the walk ran across farmland and through bush. We crossed the river once and enjoyed some nice views of surrounded hills. However, the real fun began when we climbed a ladder and entered to the chasm. From that point, the walk carried on through the river.

A waterfall at the upper end of chasm
A waterfall at the upper end of chasm

A few meters upstream was a nice waterfall, but then we followed the way of flow and walked downstream through the narrow limestone gorge. Most of the time, the water level reached only up to our knees. But, there were some parts which got a bit deeper and we ended with a backpack above our heads.

The rock tunnels
The rock tunnels

While looking for the best way to get over one deeper spot, we ran across a number of fossils as we climbed over a big rock.

As we proceeded to the end of the chasm, we walked through a few massive tunnels where stalactites hung from the ceiling and along the walls.

At some parts it got quite dark and cold as well
At some parts it got quite dark and cold as well

Once we went through the end of the chasm, the sun and warm air were really nice as, despite the middle of summer, the water was quite cold. However, all that fun was definitely worth our frozen toes and we got warm on the way up back to our car anyway.

Description Distance (km) Moving duration Average speed (km/h) Elevation gain (m) Elevation loss (m)
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