Holdsworth-Jumbo Circuit suitablity for family
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children (13 & 11yrs). Mum & Dad have reasonable tramping experiance but are new to Wellington and the Tararuas. The children are starting out (keen day hikers with only 2 overnight tramps experiance). We are keen to to the Holdsworth-Jumbo circuit and are interested in anyones input as to the suitability of this tramp for children. One question I have is are there any 2 or 3 wire bridges on this tramp? Any tips on what (or what not) to do specific to this tramp would be appreciated.
All the bridges on the Holdsworth-Jumbo Circuit are standard DOC swing bridges or better. There is a desciption of the track on this site and one including photos at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~fiski/hjc.html. The track is best in clear and settled weather since high winds can make the tops crossing between Holdworth and Jumbo an ordeal.
I would recommend doing this trip in the direction of Jumbo-Holdsworth. Once you have gotten to Atiwhakatu Hut (and worked through gear reallocations and boot issues on the flatter section) you can either go up the direct route (just above the hut) or continue up river for ~30mins and go up the older track. The track up the hill feels the same but is a bit nicer for the bush. This makes for a nice variation. I also find Powell down is a bit easier on the knees. If you do go to Powell first, and decend from Jumbo, you may want to go down the river from Atiwhakatu Hut. It is not hard and a nice introduction to river travel. There is an exit about half way down, at Donnelly's or the 4wd by the big bridge. S
I will take your words and thank you for your information. I will go solo and do this before the Tararua Peaks trip in the direction of Otaki Forks - Junction Knob - Maungahuka - Field Hut. Tararua Peaks Ladder photo by Matt Ward (Exploring NZ's Parks pamphlet)looks less hairy than the one taken by Ian Fisk, isn't it? And another thing, I would like to know if it is fine for a standard car to get to these trail heads. I am from oversea (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia).
Otaki Forks and Holdsworth Lodge are both easily accessable by car. There is a caretaker at Holdsworth Lodge so it is a relatively safe place to leave a car too. Probably the same at Otaki Forks too I think. The thing about the Tararuas is the weather. It is usually very windy and often very wet as well. The Tararuas are exposed to the ocean on three sides so cop it from whereever the wind is coming from. Your idea to do the Holdsorth-Jumbo loop first is probably wise as a warm up. The Tararua Peaks trip is a little more remote and wild, though there is a new ladder and a new hut at Manungahuka since I was there last.
Thanks. Very useful information indeed. Southern Crossing is also a good tramp; but transport arrangement is a concern, isn't it?
The plan of Jumbo circuit and Tararua Peaks might be changed. I am of interest in the big loop: Holdsworth - Mid Waiohine - Maungahuka - Mt Hector - Southern Crossing - Kaitoke Holdsworth. How many days will it be for a slow tramper (just wanting to take time..) including two spare days just in case poor weather? Any advice? A lot of thanks.
heading up there on saturday to Mc Gregor biv ,i note that i cant find any info on the route from angle knob to Mc Gregor on here (or anywhere else)might have to do a report whence i return !!!!
I passed through a few years ago so I'm relying on memory. IIRC its 2-3 hours from Jumbo hut. Jumbo to Angle Knob is straight forward. After that the worn trail disappears and I remember a couple of dodgy parts around/over some rocky bluffs. The spur down to the biv can be tricky to spot but is just north of 2 tarns, follow a taped route through leatherwood to the biv.
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