- Tararua Forest Park
- Total Ascent
- 3 days
- Tutuwai Hut, 20 bunks; Totara Flats, 26 bunks
- Kiwi Ranch Road end or Mt Holdsworth Road end (return transport required)
- GPX File
- Kaitoke to Holdsworth Lodge (gpx, yo 347 KB)
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The eastern Tararua valleys offer sheltered tramping through fine bush, with a smattering of huts, excellent camping and plenty of swimming holes. During a hot summer, this route makes an ideal family tramp.
Beginning on the Kaitoke side, the track climbs steadily through regenerating bush before descending to the pleasantly shady Smith Creek. Smith Creek Shelter is rather unappealing, but a myriad of good camping spots exist on flats in the nearby Tauherenikau Valley.
A few hours, tramp up-valley leads to the well-appointed Tutuwai Hut, while 90 minutes beyond is the historic Cone Hut, a rustic slab hut that gives a taste of old New Zealand.
From Cone Hut, a track climbs to Cone Saddle and descends to the Waiohine Valley, another fine river with camping spots and a large, comfortable modern hut at Totara Flats. From here, a track climbs up Totara Creek to Gentle Annie Track and the route to Holdsworth Lodge.