Last Updated: 19th Mar 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Jumbo - Holdsworth Circuit

Masterton, Wellington

Submitted by Rita Onosa

Last Updated: 19th Mar 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 52 ?

Gnarl Factor: 48 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -14.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







This loop can be run in either direction. This guide describes the anti-clockwise option.

Track starts at the car park across the swing bridge and through Donnelly's Flat to join the undulating Atiwhakatu track to Atiwhakatu Hut. Beautiful mostly run-able native bush track with a a few stairs and steep but short climbs. From Atiwhakatu Hut a steep ascent starts via the Rain Gauge track to reach Jumbo Hut. This is very steep, technical track that can get very tricky if the conditions are wet. Once you leave the bush follow the marked track to reach the Jumbo summit .

At the summit make a left turn to head south along the undulating main range to Mt Holdsworth which is the highest point of this circuit. From the Trig turn left again to start the decent via Powell Hut to Holdsworth Lodge and finish via the well graded Gentle Annie Track. Unsure why i's named Gentle Annie because trust me it's nothing but...

This trail includes the peaks Mount Holdsworth and Jumbo/Pukeahurangi.

The summits of Jumbo & Holdsworth and the ridgeline in-between provide panoramic views on a nice day. They can be spectacular in other ways any time of year!

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Daily rail and regular bus services operate between Wellington and Masterton. Taxis, or for large parties prebooked buses, can be hired for travel between Masterton and Holdsworth. Plenty safe parking available at the trail start if you choose to drive out.

21 km

26 minutes




Navigation on the tops can be tricky - make sure you have the necessary map & compass skills.

Very patchy.

Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map

There is water at all the huts and although many drink it I advise you carry all the water you need. Along the way there are lost of streams many runners use to drink out of.

Be prepared for sudden change in weather! Even in the hottest summer day the ridge line can get cold and gale force winds are possible.

The Jumbo-Holdsworth trail is approximately 24km over tracks and hills in the Tararua Forest Park. Runners need to be long distance runners with appropriate mountain and trail experience, be self sufficient and familiar with the course or a comprehensive map of the area.
Though the tracks are well graded this track is no small feast, the terrain is hilly, steep and tough and the distance does not truly reflect the degree of challenge ahead of you.

Cafe Mirabelle
High St, Carterton
Beautiful french cafe where you can indulge in some tasty pastries and traditional french cuisine, served by a true french gentleman!

Main St Deli
Main St, Greytown
Beautiful home made pies, cakes, or a healthy treat , there is something for every one to choose from.

Trail Legend


Nick On

has completed Jumbo - Holdsworth Circuit 5 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Tough circuit - but views are incredible ! Be prepared with all your gear as weather can change real fast.

Zavana McAffer

May 23, 2022

Good luck trying to run this whole track - if the climb up to Jumbo doesn't ruin your quads the wind along the tops will have its way with you. But the views are stunning, and if you do it on a nice day you can run the whole way along the tops from Jumbo to Mt. Holdsworth, across to Powell and then down again.

Seth Zorn

February 9, 2022

Awesome run with epic views from the tops. Above the tree line was more of a fast pack than a run given the loose surface and hard to see footing. The climb up to jumbo from the river is a fun slog :)

Daniel Bowbyes

January 2, 2021

An awesome day out in fantastic weather; blue sky and very little wind which is a bit of a novelty in the Tararuas by all accounts. Set off steadily as I was suffering from a large haematoma on my left quad after a fall a couple of weeks ago. Aiming to see 'how it goes' but managed a bit of light jogging along to Atiwhakatu Hut. The slog up to Jumbo is a real slog but made all the better by the beautiful forest that we climbed through. Happy that my leg wasn't painful though it was clearly not as strong as it could have been! Emerging out of the forest into the open and the views is simply stunning. Having grown up on Lakeland Fells and Scottish mountains it was brilliant to hit open ridges and be able to see where we were going and where we had been. A quick lunch stop at the trig at Holdsworth and a handstand and then down to the amazing new Powell Hut. From there it's all downhill and entirely runnable! Fantastic day out!

Anne-Louise Robertson

March 19, 2020

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

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