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Jumbo Holdsworth Circuit, Tararua Forest Park

Trampers above an icy Jumbo Hut at sunrise. Photo: Shaun Barnett/Black Robin Photography
Total Ascent
Holdsworth Lodge to Jumbo Hut, 3-4hr; To Powell Hut, 3-4hr; To road-end, 3-4hr Distance 21.2km
Jumbo Hut (20 bunks), Powell Hut (28 bunks)
From Holdsworth Lodge at the end of Mt Holdsowrth Road
GPX File
Jumbo Holdsworth Circuit (gpx, yo 166 KB)
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This trip can be done in either direction. The route described here and shown on the map goes first to Jumbo Hut.

From Holdsworth Lodge, strike out on the Atiwhakatu Track aiming for Atiwhakatu Hut. At the hut, ascend Raingauge Spur Track (a rain gauge was once located in a clearing halfway down the ridge) and climb to Jumbo Hut. There is a section of re-routed track subsiding on this section of the circuit. Proceed with caution when walking along this slip section.

From Jumbo Hut, climb to Jumbo (1405m) and take the exposed ridge south to Mt Holdsworth. Beware of high winds, mist and icy conditions on this section. In winter, use snowshoes or come prepared for deep snow. In misty conditions, these tops can be tough to navigate.

From Mt Holdsworth (1470 m), descend to Powell Hut. From he hut, the track descends steeply through dense bush to Mountain House Shelter. Take the well graded Gentle Annie Track, which offers numerous vantage points of Mts Holdsworth and Jumbo. A worthwhile side trip is to Rocky Lookout, which offers good views over the Wairarapa.

Gentle Annie track meets Atiwhakatu Track which you can tak back to your vehicle.