Powell Hut – Mount Holdsworth

Track category

Great Walk/Easier tramping track


5 – 6 hr or 7 – 8 hr, depending on route


Powell Hut. Photo: Joe Hansen.
Powell Hut

For fitter visitors, the tramp beyond Mountain House Shelter follows the Mount Holdsworth Track, climbing through beech forest that markedly reduces in stature as the bushline, and Powell Hut, is approached (1200 metres).

Just below the hut, a rocky outcrop affords 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.

Getting there

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 Tramp to Mountain House Shelter.

Places to stay

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.


Powell Hut is usually bookable for the period between 1 October and 30 April via the online booking system. However, note that the opening of bookings for the 2014/2015 summer season will delayed. Until further notice, the hut ticket payment system still applies. For any queries please contact the Masterton office at masterton@doc.govt.nz.

This booking system is in place to ensure everyone gets a bed and enjoys their stay during the peak season period, and to avoid overcrowding of these popular huts.

Before you book, read the terms and conditions.

If you wish to use your Backcountry Hut Pass as payment please book directly with:

Whakaoriori / Masterton Office
Phone:      +64 6 377 0700
Email:   masterton@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

Plan and prepare

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.


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Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Wairarapa places


Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Whakaoriori / Masterton Office
Phone:      +64 6 377 0700
Email:   masterton@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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