Ruakokoputuna    Martinborough's Magic Valley

Haurangi Bluff and Environs

This well-known geological feature rises up directly above Patuna Chasm. Thousands of years ago a large part of the hillside broke away during an earthquake leaving the imposing cliff behind and the slopes below littered with huge limestone boulders. Over thousands of years these became mounded over by forest litter to form the distinctive Hobbit-like hillocks that so fascinate visitors today. Some of the boulders rolled all the way down and smashed into the chasm below where they wedged themselves between its vertical walls to form dramatic caverns and tunnels. An area above the bluff is a designated geo-preservation zone because of its rare pavement karst formations. It also features unusual limestone outcrops such as Jacob’s Rock, Dragon’s Mouth and Falcon Rock and abounds with many very large cabbage trees. The area is also rich in birdlife with our fearless native falcon (Karearea) often seen swooping between limestone outcrops in pursuit of its prey.