Begin on the Gentle Annie Track. For fitter visitors, the tramp beyond Mountain House Shelter follows the Mount Holdsworth Track. It climbs through beech forest that reduces as the bushline and Powell Hut is approached (1200 metres).
Just below the hut, a rocky outcrop gives an excellent view of High Ridge and Totara Flats far below in the Waiohine valley.
The route to the summit of Mount Holdsworth (1470 metres) is exposed to winds but otherwise straight-forward. The return trip to Powell Hut can be completed in 5 – 6 hours, to Mount Holdsworth in 7 – 8 hours.
Powell Hut is a well-equipped hut on the Mt Holdsworth - Jumbo Circuit, and a popular winter destination for fitter day visitors because it is probably the quickest route to reach the snow-covered tops of the Tararua Range.
Facilities: 28 bunk beds, cooking, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served
Turn off State Highway 2 on to Norfolk Road, 2 km south of Masterton. This leads to Mount Holdsworth Road. Holdsworth is 15 km from State Highway 2.
Follow the Gentle Annie Track on the Holdsworth - Kaitoke Track to Mountain House Shelter.
Know before you go
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.