Friday morning we headed North to Holdsworth, a pretty river valley that is one of the entrances to the Tararua Forest Park. We chose a fairly short round trip for the day, up onto the shoulder of Mount Holdsworth, and then back down to the river gorge and down the river to the road-end. Mt Holdsworth itself was in the cloud so there
wouldn’t have been any views, and we weren’t feeling all that energetic.
The walk up was lovely, with tall trees and lots of birdsong. After about an hour we came out of the bush to a nice viewpoint looking out over the valley, but shortly afterwards we were back in the bush, climbing up to Pig Flat, a saddle under the steep part of the climb, and the site of the Mountain House shelter. On the way, we came across two Morporks—New Zealand owls—that sat and blinked at us as we tried to photograph them. I expect they were glad to see us as we scared off the group of smaller birds that were harrassing them.
The path down from the saddle was hot and steep, and we stopped at the bottom while Richard swam in the river, and Rachel decided it was too cold for her. The walk back was along the gorge edge, with glimpses of
the river far below.