Home / Trips / Wellington

Girdlestone via Mitre Peak, Tararua Forest Park

View from Girdlestone, west to Dorset Ridge Hut (left) and Kapiti Island (right). Photo: Peter Laurenson,
Area
Tararua Forest Park
Distance
13.7km to Girdlestone
Total Ascent
2060m to Girdlestone
Time
Two days return
Grade
Moderate
Accom.
Mitre Flats Hut, 14 bunks
Access
From the car park at the end of Upper Waingawa Road
Map
BP34, BN34
GPX File
Girdlestone (gpx, yo 38 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

The trail to Mitre Flats Hut only gains 70m but with plenty of ups and downs and tree roots. After a constant three-hour plod you,ll reach the 14-bunk Mitre Flats Hut. From the hut to Mitre requires a height gain of 1200m but the trail is well graded, making rapid progress relatively easy. Soon you’ll breach the tree line and be up on the tops.

After three hours you reach Peggys Peak, 1545m, at which point your entire route for the day is revealed. It’s a short hop from Peggys to Mitre, 1571m – the highest point of the Tararuas. The 150m descent of Mitre,s steeper north-west face is the trickiest section of the day,s route. Once on top of Brockett, 1538m, there’s a nice view of Mitre, back-dropped by the Wairarapa. And looking north-west you can see the red roof of Tarn Ridge Hut gleaming in a sea of green, brown and gold; offset by the blues and greys of Kapiti Island in the far distance.

It’s an easy stroll to Girdlestone, 1546m, along a tussocky ridge requiring minimal height gain. Another view unfolds from the summit, revealing Dorset Ridge and its namesake hut and, in the distance, the snowy summit of Mt Holdsworth. Retrace your steps to Mitre, on to Mitre Flats Hut and back to the car.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.