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Pinnacle Ridge Plus, Wellington

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Pinnacle Ridge PlusIntermediate

Submitted by Emily Shrosbree

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote


Very hilly

Native bush
Open ridges/tops


4:30 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:40 (Fast)



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After leaving Holdsworth Lodge, and just before you cross the bridge over the Atiwhakatu Stream there is a small track off to the right. It is well-trodden but unmarked. Follow this track along the stream to start with, then as it climbs up to Pinnacle (.877). There are multiple traps along this track which is well defined but not officially marked.

From Pinnacle, there are a couple of cairns which guide you to the continuation of the track to .862, then take care to follow the track to the left from .862 towards .846. From .846 you travel almost due north down the ridge to meet the Barton Track, just before it intersects wit the Baldy Track. The section between .846, .730 and where you join the marked track switches between being very obvious and very tricky to follow. There are old track markers in places.

Once on the Barton Track, turn left and follow it down a short distance to the junction with the Baldy Track, then left again to descend to the swingbridge over the river. The section of track along the river here is relatively rough and rooty. At the first junction, which is signed, turn right and follow the track straight up to Jumbo Hut. This is well marked but there is some tree fall to negotiate. There is a short section of exposed tops as you pop out of the bushline before you reach Jumbo Hut. From Jumbo Hut follow the well marked Raingauge Spur track down to Atiwhakau Hut. This is a steep descent. Then it's a gentle roll out along the Atiwhakatu Track back to the Holdsworth Lodge to finish the loop.

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Features of interest

Views of both Powell and Jumbo Hut Swingbridges

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 25%

Technical Single Track: 25%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 30%

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

Jumbo - Holdsworth Circuit

Jumbo - Holdsworth Circuit

Length: 24.00km

Hooper Loop - Mt Holdsworth

Hooper Loop - Mt Holdsworth

Length: 12.00km

Kaituna to Holdsworth Lodge

Kaituna to Holdsworth Lodge

Length: 21.40km

Atiwhakatu Hut

Atiwhakatu Hut

Length: 14.00km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Holdsworth Lodge, at the very end of the Mt Holdsworth Road.

    There is lots of parking at the road end. It's a popular entrance point to the Tararua. There is a warden based at the campsite at the road end. No public transport.

    22 km

    23 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The first section along Pinnacle Ridge is on unmarked track. There is a good foot trail but it can be difficult to follow in places for inexperienced route-finders so keep your eyes out for the old markers.
    Check your direction at .862, as you want to be heading towards .846 rather than straight on to .800.
    Once you hit the marked Barton Track then navigation is easy.

    Very patchy.

    Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.

    There is a water tap by the toilets at the Holdsworth Road End, and a water tank at Jumbo Hut.
    There is also the option to fill up from Atiwhakatu Stream before you cross the swingbridge.

    It's the Tararuas, so it can be very muddy at any time of year. And the short section above the bushline can be very exposed to strong, cold winds.

  • Post run indulgence

    The Clareville Bakery
    Clareville on SH2
    Excellent doughnut and pie selection.

    Wild Oats Cafe
    Good coffee and other baked goods.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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