Holdsworth, Mt

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Holdsworth, Mt
List Status: Official
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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
Number of Geocaches Add this data
Sponsored links

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.

Genlte 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.

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

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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


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Add new trip report for Holdsworth, Mt

xx Holdsworth

April 13, 2012, 09:19:24 PM by Sasquatch
Day 4 having started at Mid King biv climbing back up to Tarn ridge 1hr, there is a tarn just South of the biv sign if you ran out of water but wanted to stay night on ridge.  Sumitted Holdsworth 6hrs later from Mid King and while we intended to continue for Mt Hector, decided we were running out of days and the weather was turning so dropped down into Powell hut for a cosy night (amazing 32bed hut) and tramped out to Holdsworth Road 3.5hr the next day.  This completed one of the most physically hardest, dangerous but visually rewarding tramps ive done to date.  Mt Hector will need to wait another time.

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xx Mt Holdsworth

April 02, 2012, 10:07:11 PM by HummingBird
01 April 2012

So I was going to do this hike on Saturday but decided to be lazy instead. On Sunday I almost decided to be lazy again but somehow convinced myself to get up and go so I wouldn't be mad at myself later. Boy am I glad I did go for this hike. The day was wonderful and the views were stunning!

I had planned to wear boots but then decided to wear my sneakers instead. There were a couple muddy wet spots where it would have been nice to have boots. But mostly the trail was in such good condition that I am really glad I wore sneakers and not boots.

I got on the trail around 7:45am, figuring that if it took me 9 hours round trip, that I would have plenty of time before dark. As I checked my time at the junctions, at Rocky Lookout, and at Mountain House; I was just a few minutes faster than the estimated time. I thought to myself, "That's good, I guess. But I still have the steepest part to go and I know I'll slow down on that. It might take me all 9 hours or maybe even longer." I was a little disappointed in myself. I had estimated my time should have been closer to 7-8 hours round trip based on my time from Kapakapanui a few weeks earlier.

Oh well, just keep going. It was supposed to take about 2 hours to go between Mountain House and Powell Hut. It was 9:45am by the time I made it to Mountain House, so I was hoping I'd make it to Powell by 11:45 or Noon. As I climbed, I just kept taking a few quick breaks to catch my breath. There werea few rock scrambles that I wondered how Saranac would get up or get down them. But he did just fine. Probably better than me!  Grin

The trail came out of the woods and I got some great views! Up and over a little rocky outcrop, and I could see the slide on the side of the mountain that I had notice from Rocky Lookout (Also beautiful views from there!) I knew that I must be getting close to Powell since I was close to the elevation of that slide. It was still a little walk from there but when I got to the hut I felt great. I knew the hardest part was over. Then I looked at the time and was absolutely amazed. It was only 10:23am! WOW! How did I do that?!

So I felt like I deserved a little break to admire the views from Powell and have a little snack. Took off for the summit at about 10:45am, totally enjoyed the views along the ridgeline, took tons of pictures, and made it to the summit at 11:22am. Nice! I felt good and was very happy with my time. Ate some lunch, took some pictures, then went back to Powell to eat and admire the views some more. Took my time going down, at least on the steep parts.  Grin

On the way down I stopped at Rocky Lookout again for some more pictures and another break. There were a couple ladies there that took a few pictures for me so that Saranac and I could be in the picture together. And Saranac actually sat still long enough for the picture too!

It was a quick walk back to the carpark. Got back there a little before 2:30pm. That's way better than 5pm! Awesome! Saranac and I had a great day; great walk, great views. So far Mt Holdsworth is my favorite. I will definitely be back!

GPS Data: Summit 1470m (4823ft), Distance: 17.3km (10.7miles), Total Ascent: 1223m (4012ft), Time: 6hrs 43min  http://www.skimble.com/paths/60709-mt-holdsworth

Photo Album: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150603076816106.370567.577661105&type=1&l=dada4851c4

Actually saw someone else out there to take a picture for us.

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xx Holdsworth

January 15, 2011, 08:44:38 AM by mw4liverpool
Stayed in Powell Hut overnight and bagged Holdsworth the next morning before coming back down the hill to the carpark. Stunning day and great facilities at Powell Hut

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xx Mt Holdsworth

December 24, 2009, 08:27:53 PM by Claire Bear
Mt Holdsworth was the biggest mountain that I have done. At the top it was snowing. I did it in 6 hours and 40 minutes. It said it was 10 hours so I knocked off 3 hours and 20 minutes! Luckily there was a hut because we got really cold and there was a fire. Ash Bash's gloves were soaking wet! When you squeezed it there was a lot of water. There was also ice all over the trig and on plants. Cheesy

Claire Smiley

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xx Bagged it in snow

December 23, 2009, 04:53:21 PM by Ash Bash
It was cold but a good hike.
Ash bash

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Any route descriptions, NZ Topographic maps and 2D height profiles on this page are for use as an indicative guide only. They have been created using the TUMONZ mapping software, topomap.co.nz, source material, personal experiences and contain data sourced from Land Information New Zealand and any references listed on this page. PeakBagging.co.nz, Land Information New Zealand, and TUMONZ give no warranty in relation to the data (including accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability) and accepts no liability (including, without limitation, liability in negligence) for any loss, damage or costs relating to any use of the data. Crown Copyright Reserved.


Day Walks in New Zealand: 100 Great Tracks (Bird's Eye Guides), Shaun Barnett, Craig Potton Publishing (2007), See pages 72-73


101 Great Tramps in New Zealand, Mark Pickering and Rodney Smith, Reed Publishing NZ Ltd. (2004), See pages 01-100

Tramping in New Zealand, 40 Great New Zealand Tramping Trips. Barnett, S., Craig Potton Publishing (2006) Nelson, New Zealand, pages 140-141

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