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Jumbo - Holdsworth Circuit, Wellington

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Jumbo - Holdsworth CircuitIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Rita Onosa

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote


Very hilly

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

6:00 (Slow)
3:45 (Moderate)
2:30 (Fast)



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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...

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Features of interest

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!

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each

Hooper Loop - Mt Holdsworth

Hooper Loop - Mt Holdsworth

Length: 12.00km

Powell Hut

Powell Hut

Length: 15.00km

Atiwhakatu Hut

Atiwhakatu Hut

Length: 14.00km

Pinnacle Ridge Plus

Pinnacle Ridge Plus

Length: 23.20km


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  • Access

    Turn off State Highway 2 onto Norfolk Road, 2 km south of Masterton. This is signposted and there is a timber processing plant on the corner. Follow Norfolk Road 15 km to Holdsworth road end.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    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.

  • Post run indulgence

    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.

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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