Matthews, Mt

As you look east from many parts of Wellington, Mt Matthews appears as the highest point in the Rimutaka ranges. Although the summit doesn’t have 360 degree views, there are still good views to be had on the way up. The tramp itself is great for getting the heartrate going, with a pretty steep scramble section. If you live in Wellington, bagging Mt Matthews is a must – otherwise you must constantly look at it in knowledge you haven’t bagged it!

List Status Official
Elevation 941 m (3,087 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Wellington
Location Coordinates 41° 21′ 6″ S, 175° 0′ 52″ E
Nearest Town/s Wellington
Range Rimutaka
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1-2 days (return)
Distance 22.66 km (14.1 mi)
Start/End Points Catchpool Valley carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Path, Track, Swingbridges, Scramble, Mud, Steep embankments, Stream/River Crossings
Season Help.gif Seasons Explained All year (spring/summer/autumn recommended)
Sights Forest , Rimutaka Forest Park
Hazards Mist , Occasional snow, steep grade, rivers

Getting There

By Car

To reach Mt Matthews you travel via Wainuomata and down to the Catchpool Valley. From SH2, exit at Petone and follow the signs over the Wanuiomata hill. Once in Wainuiomata, head straight past the shops and on to Main Rd. Follow Main Rd until it turns into Coast Rd, and then continue on for about 8km, until you reach the left hand turn off to Rimutaka Forest Park.

Continue in to the park, past the information centre, all the way to the roadend carpark.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Mt Matthews can be bagged by walking along the Orongorongo track until you reach the Orongorongo river. Once you reach the river you can take the Big Bend track northeast to Baines Hut, however easier walking is had by simply walking up the riverbed.

Unless you are up for a very long 23km daywalk, you will want to stay overnight in one of the huts, or perhaps camp in one of the spots on the rivers edge.

The track from the Orongorongo River up to the summit of Mt Matthews starts through a muddy section before climbing steeply upwards, and on to the summit.

For more detailed description of the Mt Matthews tramp, visit the DOC Mt Matthews page.

An alternative, shorter and less steep option is to follow ribbon markers up Goat stream and up to the South Saddle.


Although the Rimutaka Forest Park is located near to Wellington city, most tracks here are of tramping standard, and are not easy city day walks. Lives have been lost in the Rimutaka Forest Park, and you should take suitable clothing and equipment, including maps and warm clothing. The river can also flood from time to time.

Height Profile

Matthews, Mt-2d.jpg