One of my favorite things about living in New Zealand is the access to incredible trails and viewpoints. As a midwestern girl, I’d have to drive two days through corn fields before seeing any sign of mountains, yet in Wellington [New Zealand’s capital city], I can be lost in the woods in my own backyard in just five minutes. In the past year and a half, Ryan and I have conquered most hikes in the Wellington region and recently began discovering more in the Great Region. We recently hiked to the top of Mount Holdsworth [1470m] and stayed in our first hut! Here’s a short post about it:
In just under two hours, we arrived at the trailhead.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day, yet many of the trails were closed due to the recent flooding. We decided to follow the Gentle Annie trail up to the summit and return the same way the following day. The first hour was quite easy, winding through the gorgeous forest as seen below. Every once in a while, we’d get a glimpse of the surrounding area and even spotted our hut for the night. It looked insanely far, but we happily trudged on.
After passing the Mountain House Shelter, the trail dramatically inclines. Let’s just say there are a lot of oversized staircases and our legs hated every one of them. Just before reaching Powell Hut, a massive rock hangs over the side of the mountain, giving you exceptional views of the Tararua Forest.
Another reason I love this country is the incredible Department of Conservation [DOC]. Their website contains info on every hike on both islands with more than enough detail to help trampers [the NZ term for walkers/hikers] enjoy their experience. What to expect, what to bring, where to camp and they provide hundreds of huts providing unique shelter, places to rest and sometimes to cook. With a small fee ($16pp at Powel] trampers have access to gas cookers, fireplaces and bunk beds with mattresses. This makes it much easier than carrying a tent, plus New Zealand is infamous for its rapid, intense weather changes. It was about time to give one a try.
Powell Hut – Photo courtesy of the DOC
The DOC also gives predictions on how long hikes will take, but we always seem to smash their estimate. Getting there much earlier than planned, we decided to relax in the hut before summiting Mount Holdsworth for sunset. The walk to the top was windy, but stupidly gorgeous along the ridge line with 360 views of the Wairarapa region.
We reached the top in perfect time for the sun to gives its final show of the day. And then the clouds started to roll in. For the next hour we ran around taking turns taking photos at cloud level. It was incredible. The photos below speak for themselves.
This might have been one of my favorite sunset hikes we’ve done yet and it’s easy to see why. If you’re in the Greater Wellington region, I definitely recommend this hike and I’m happy to help if you have any questions about tramping here or anywhere in New Zealand.
Cheers for reading, happy wandering