Powell Hut no longer accessible


  • This topic has 19 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 3 years ago by Heather.
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  • #31862 Reply
    #31912 Reply

    To Backcountry Hut Pass holders that might not know this, and who are looking to check out the new Powell Hut with an overnight stay.

    The DOC website states that the Backcountry Hut Pass (6 or 12 months) is not valid as payment at “Most bookable huts”.

    Powell hut is one of the exceptions (other exceptions include Jumbo Hut on the Holdsworth-Jumbo Circuit and Sunrise Hut in the Ruahine FP).

    The DOC website says Backcountry Hut Pass holders who wish to book a stay at Powell Hut can call the Masterton DOC office on 06 377-0700. You can also call (or visit) their Wellington Visitor Centre and quote your Pass number to make a booking. The Wellington VC’s number is 04 284-7770.

    #32049 Reply
    Tony G

    Guest review. Holdsworth Hilton. 25 July 2019

    Booking. Online with internet payment. Or for Priority Card holders call 06 377-0700 and book with the very cheerful and helpful DOC person – have your card number handy when calling.
    Carparking. No undercover parking or valet service. The walk from the carpark area to the building should be shortened.
    Reception. None – with a booking it is apparently acceptable to just wander in.
    Bedrooms. Comfortable enough with only two other guests but may be fraught if hordes of strangers arrive and muscle in. Need your own blankets. No ensuite. Carpet removed for some unknown reason. No heating.
    Room service. Unacceptable – still waiting for breakfast to be delivered.
    Bathrooms. The architect apparently forgot to include any indoor toilets, showers, or a hot tub. How was the building ever approved for occupation? A stunning error that will need to be rectified.
    Dining room. A bit spartan with very basic furniture. A few lounge chairs, and jazzed-up décor would go a long way. Refer to attached photograph.
    Kitchen. Basic. No utensils. Gas cooker nice provided you have thought to bring your own pots and pans.
    View. Very good. Sunrise can be viewed from dining area or better yet outside from the deck on any of the 80 Tararua days per year that are fine. Sample photo attached.
    Lighting. Uhmmm. Solar lighting on timers is a good idea, however the timers cut out after about 2 minutes and need to be constantly reset. Annoying.
    Heating. Nice woodburner. Draws well.
    Noise. Low level but annoying hum from fire alarm panel at night. But normally the snorers and plastic bag rustlers will drown this out so probably not an issue.
    WiFi. None. Another basic omission. How will kids be kept from getting bored without incurring big phone data fees.
    Recommend to others. For those who have a normal life and enjoy those accepted civilized creature-comforts then no. For hardcore trampers who actively reject creature-comforts probably also no. However for those who wish to partly reject creature-comforts just temporarily and enjoy an easy walk to a stunning new front-country hut with friends or family to appreciate some the wonderful mountain scenery in NZ then 10/10.

    #32215 Reply

    Things to Do from Powell Hut

      Short walk

    – ‘bag’ Mt Holdsworth at 1470m elevation. Allow two to three hours return to the hut.

      Long walk

    – make Powell Hut a lunch stop, or an overnight stop, on the Jumbo Holdsworth Circuit – an exhilarating one-day trip for the fit ones with a day pack or a multi-night tramp for those new to the Tararua tops.

      Navigation adventure

    – navigate your way along High Ridge. Check out how much flax there is at Flaxy Knob. Allow a full day for the return trip back to Powell Hut.

    • the Tararua tops lends itself to the budding photographer’s eye and may even provide some never-ending inspiration. For those with snow craft skills, winter can be particularly awesome for photography when the tops above Powell Hut are covered in snow.

    – there are endless options between Powell Hut and the East Holdsworth track junction to throw out a picnic blanket and enjoy stunning views in all directions.

      Rock climbing

    – pintsize trampers can have fun clambering the rocky outcrops on the track just below and above Powell Hut.

      Star gazing

    – Powell Hut can offer a dark night sky that makes it a great place to look at the stars. Bring along a star chart and look for constellations and other celestial sights. Or look through binoculars in search of our planetary neighbours.

      Trail running

    – ever wondered why trail running has become so popular? Get a taste by taking a run down to Mountain House and back. If you like it, perhaps you’ll find yourself at the start line of next year’s Hooper Loop or Jumbo Holdsworth Trail Race.

      East Holdsworth Track

    – looking for an alternative way back to the Holdsworth carpark? There are two other options to the Gentle Annie track you probably came up. One is to head up to Mt Holdsworth and then drop down the East Holdsworth track. The other, and shorter, is down the River Ridge Track (the track junction is 15 mins below Mountain House shelter). Both these alternatives finish with a walk along Donnelly Flat on the true right of Atiwhakatu Stream.

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