Rocky Lookout

Rocky Lookout

Mount Holdsworth, Tararua Forest Park

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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3.8 km return | 3 hours return

A prominent rocky outcrop commands 360 degree views of Powell Hut, Mount Holdsworth, the Jumbo Hut and the Atiwhakatu catchment. To the east the rolling pasturelands of the Wairarapa recede to the distance.


Mount Holdsworth is well signposted from SH2. 5 km south of Masterton City Centre, turn right into Norfolk Road, where Mount Holdsworth is signposted. After 10.5 km the road veers left, merging with Mount Holdsworth Road. There is a large camping area at the roadend, 5 km further on.

The start of the track is signposted from the far end of the carpark.


Follow the signs from the carpark and after 20 minutes head left along the Gentle Annie Track. This climbs gently but steadily on a well graded track to an open clearing, where Rocky Lookout is signposted. The vegetation is lower, dominated by tea tree, suggesting regeneration. The absence of tall trees also points to the notion this area on the spur was once cleared.

European History

After the First World War, the Government opened up large areas of forested land to returned servicemen, who were given carte blanche to clear the land and convert it to pasture. For many the land was marginal, prone to severe erosion and with poor soil quality. Eking a living proved too difficult and many left in search of pastures new. The land around Rocky Lookout has been regenerating for nearly 100 years and now exhibits markedly different vegetation patterns to the surrounding forests.


Feature Value Info


North IslandWairarapaMasterton


  • Walking
  • Free


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DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner