Holdsworth, Mt

Mt Holdsworth is a busy summit on the 2-3 day Jumbo Circuit track in the Tararuas, but can also be bagged on a return day or overnight tramp. If the day is sunny, there are excellent panoramic views at the top of Mt. Holdsworth of the Tararua Ranges, Waiohine Valley, Mt Hector and the town of Masterton.

Gentle?Annie Track Update:

The Gentle Annie Track which had been closed in late 2008 for maintenance, has now been reopened for use. We tramped to Holdsworth via the open Gentle Annie Track on 24 January 2009.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,470 m (4,823 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Wellington
Location Coordinates 40° 52′ 25″ S, 175° 24′ 60″ E
Nearest Town/s Masterton, Wellington
LINZ Topographic map/s Add this data
Range Tararua Ranges
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1-2 days (return)
Distance 17.3 km (10.7 mi)
Start/End Points Mt Holdsworth roadend
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track
Season Help.gif Sept to May
Sights Views , Bush, lookout with views of the Tararua Ranges, Waiohine Valley, Mt Hector and the town of Masterton
Hazards Mist, High winds , Snow/ice in winter

Getting There

By Car

If driving from Wellington, take SH2 north up towards Masterton. About 4 km before Masterton turn down Norfolk Road, and then Mt Holdsworth Road. Drive about 15 km to the end of the road where there is a carpark, picnic area, camping area and Holdsworth Lodge. The track begins from near the carpark.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Park at the end of Holdsworth Road, and follow the gravel road up the valley. After a couple of minutes you will reach Holdsworth Hut where you can sign an intentions book to say where and when you are coming/returning.

To start the tramp, cross the footbridge that goes across the Atiwhakatu River and head for the Gentle Annie track which winds its way through forest. The track is well signposted so you should have no problem finding and following the Gentle Annie Track. The track has been recently upgraded so it is quite wide, well gravelled and easy to walk on.

About 1-1.5 hours into your trip, you will reach the Rocky Lookout. Take a quick stop here for great views of Powell Hut, Holdsworth and the Wairarapa.

About another half an hour onward, you’ll reach a junction with a signpost. Follow the signs and continue up toward Mountain Shelter and Powell Hut.

From the junction it takes about 2.5 hours to get to Powell Hut which has 32 beds, a gas cooker and a gas heater. You could either stay in Powell Hut the night and continue up to Mt. Holdsworth the following day, or head on up to Mt. Holdsworth the same day.

From Powell Hut, continue along a well worn route up to Mt. Holdsworth, marked by a Trig Station. The tops are tussocky and open. On a sunny day there are fantatic views from the top of the surrounding Tararuas, the Wairarapa, the West Coast of the North Island and the South Island.

Once you reach the top of Mt. Holdsworth you can continue on to Jumbo Hut, and complete the Jumbo Circuit, or return the way you came via Powell Hut (staying the night there on the way back down if you wish). A return trip in one day takes 9 hours.

A good description of the Jumbo Circuit can be found on the Hiking the Holdsworth page posted by tramper Ian Fisk.

Approximate Timings:

  • 3.5-4 hours to Powell Hut
  • 1 hour from Powell Hut to Holdsworth summit
  • 4 hours return from Holdsworth summit to the carpark at Holdsworth Road (via Powell Hut and Gentle Annie Track)

Route Options

Mt Holdsworth may be climbed:

  • A day return trip taking 9 hours – Going up to Holdsworth via the Gentle Annie Track, Mountain House and Powell Hutt, and returning down the same track
  • A two-day return trip – Going up to Holdsworth via the Gentle Annie Track, Mountain House and Powell Hutt, staying at Powell Hut overnight and returning down the same track
  • Or as a circuit (2-3 days) – Completing the whole Jumbo Circuit going up the Gentle Annie way and returning down Rain Guage Spur via Jumbo and Atiwhakatu Huts (staying at any hut/s that please you along the way).

Height Profile

Holdsworth, Mt-2d.jpg