Patuna Chasm has to be one of the best kept secret day walks in all of New Zealand. The fact it's on private land and there is a entry fee involved probably accounts for that - but let me tell you that this walk is absolutely worth every dollar!
A walk on a predator free island (well, apart from humans), less than a hour's drive from New Zealand's capital city? A walk that starts and ends with a boat trip? The opportunity to see birdlife up close and personal? If all of the above appeals to you, then you need to get yourself to Kāpiti Island, ASAP.
I don't know of many capital cities where you can drive 10 minutes from the city centre and see seals. And not just one seal, but heaps of seals, sunbathing themselves on rocks and generally just being rather adorable!
We lucked out big time with this walk - a few days before we were due to start walking the middle section of the track was closed due to snow. And two days after we came off that section it closed again due to bad weather. Which is completely understandable as there is no way I'd want to be on top of those ridgelines in windy and/or snowy conditions!
This wasn't a typical walk. It was a 50km mountain race around a volcano, that started and finished in darkness. I'd gone into it knowing that I'd already completed a 50km before (and that included running and walking, whereas this one was only walking), so mentally I knew I could do it. It was whether I could physically do it again.
The number one reason I like this walk is because it starts in the heart of the city, but within 30 minutes you can look around and not see any sign of people. That's my kind of walk! The second reason is that it ends at the beach. And not just that, but a beach with seals! If those aren't two fantastic reasons to do this walk, then I'm not sure what would be.
If you like stairs, you'll really like this walk. There are lots of them. And they are perched on hillsides where if you slip, there is nothing to stop you until you hit the ground far below. So my hint for this walk? Take it slow going up and down the many, many stairs.