Holdsworth is the main entrance to the eastern side of Tararua Forest Park. Set against the backdrop of some of the highest peaks in the Tararua Range, Holdsworth offers short walks and longer tramps through attractive forest vegetation and higher up into the alpine environment. The picturesque Atiwhakatu Stream passes through the area, which is home to a diverse range of animal, bird and insect life. A ranger is available periodically to offer assistance and provide local information.
The picturesque Atiwhakatu Stream passes through the area, which is home to a diverse range of animal, bird and insect life. A ranger is available to offer assistance and provide local information. The Atiwhakatu Stream has good, relatively safe swimming areas which are popular over the summer. You'll also find fireplaces and picnic facilities in attractive setting - grassed riverflats, surrounded by lush bush, next to Atiwhakatu Stream. You'll need to bring your own firewood. Please do not take firewood from the bush.
Tracks and Walks
There are a series of short bush walks within towering native forest containing rimu, kahikatea miro, and rata. Tracks ranging from the easy to the extremely difficult lead into a network of routes through the Tararua Forest Park. Permits are required for shooting in the Tararua Forest Park. Red deer, wild goats and pigs provide for many recreational hunting opportunities. Local rivers contain brown trout. Swimming at Atiwhakatu Stream is popular over the summer.
Places to Stay
Holdsworth Lodge is suitable for large groups and has communal bunks, electricity, hot water, flush toilet and a wood stove. Bookings can be made online. There are also well-drained camping areas in secluded settings. Pay by self-registration.
Holdsworth is near Masterton.
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. There is a daily rail connection and regular bus service between Wellington and Masterton (17 km from Holdsworth). Taxis or, for large parties, pre-booked buses, can be hired for travel between Masterton and Holdsworth.
A number of alerts have been issued for various sites related to Holdsworth. Please view the Wairarapa alerts page for more information.
Plan & Prepare
Tararua Forest Park is renowned for its changeable weather and because much of the terrain is rugged, trampers and walkers must travel prepared. Food and warm waterproof clothing should be carried, even on short walks. Overnight parties should always include experienced trampers.
Back country hut tickets, purchased in advance, are required for overnight use of huts in the park. Hunting permits and fishing licences are required within the park. Dogs in the park must be kept under control. Dogs are not permitted in huts.
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.