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Three Day
Guided Wilderness
Experience

A journey of Discovery from the Mountains to the Sea

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The Experience

Hollyford Track is an ideal way to experience the very essence of New Zealand’s wilderness as well as the country's rich history and heritage.

The Hollyford Track 3 day guided walk has opened the area to people who otherwise may not have been able to access and experience this spectacular part of New Zealand. Being guided on your multi day adventure you will experience and learn a great deal more than you would, if walking independently.

In this 3 day / 2 night, all inclusive, guided multi day hiking adventure you will be transported from the mountains to the sea, transecting the Hollyford Valley by foot, jet boat and finally helicopter into Milford Sound. A maximum number of 16 people in your group delivers a more personal experience. Along the way your expert and passionate guide will bring to life the diversity of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife, as well as the captivating stories of the original Māori and early pioneering families. You’ll enjoy first rate cuisine prepared and served by our friendly lodge hosts, while relaxing in our well-appointed and comfortable private lodges.

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The Hollyford Track Guided Wilderness Experience includes: 

  • Pre-departure briefingHollyford Little Homer falls group
  • Return coach transport with hotel pick ups from Queenstown or a pick up in Te Anau on our way through.
  • Friendly, knowledgeable & professional guides
  • Wilderness jet boat journey down the Hollyford river and across Lake McKerrow
  • Amazing helicopter flight into Milford Sound
  • Friendly professional lodge hosts
  • Track accommodation in well-appointed private lodges with twin share rooms, hot showers and flush toilets
  • All bedding including duvets and hot water bottles, towels, soap, shampoo and hairdryers
  • All meals on the track
  • Use of backpacks and rain jackets if required 

 

Itinerary in brief


DAY 1
Travel from Queenstown or Te Anau to the Hollyford Valley and then walk 19.5km with your guide through native beech forest to Pyke Lodge.
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DAY 2
Morning light on Lake Alabaster, wilderness jet boating and 15km of Podocarp forest, coastal reefs and finally fur seals before spending the night at Martins Bay Lodge.
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DAY 3
Explore Martins Bay spit and both Māori and European settlement, walking 8.5km, before flying by helicopter into Milford Sound where our coach awaits to return you to Te Anau and then Queenstown.
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COSTS / DEPARTURES
Departing every second day from mid October to late April. Low and high season rates apply.
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Hollyford Track are proud members of Ngai Tahu Tourism who offer a variety of attractions and tours in NZ, including:
Franz Josef Glacier Guides
Dart River
Guided Walks New Zealand
Shotover Jet
NZ Snowshoeing
Agrodome
Hukafalls Jet
Rainbow Springs

Day One

Discover some of New Zealand's most beautiful lakes and glacial valleys, dwarfed by majestic mountains at the start at the Hollyford Track.

For a more relaxing start to your multi day hiking adventure, we recommend beginning in Te Anau, where you will meet the group at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel at 8:30am. In contrast, if you start in Queenstown, you will be picked up from your accommodation or central meeting point from 6:30am.

Following the swift, clear waters of the Hollyford River, beneath the gaze of the mighty Southern Alps, including Fiordland National Park’s two highest peaks of Mt Tutoko (2746m) and Mt Madeline (2537m).

You'll retrace the footsteps of original Māori and early pioneer explorers, as the track undulates gently through native beech forest and beside impressive tumbling waterfalls.

At the end of the first day of your guided walk adventure, you’ll be welcomed at Pyke Lodge by your friendly lodge hosts. Here you’ll enjoy hot showers, impressive 3 course cuisine and the opportunity to relax with a post dinner drink and savour the majesty of Mt Madeline while reflecting on a great first day of your guided walk experience.

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Day One Highlights

Hollyford Mt Madeline from Pyke Lodge

Mt Madeline (2537m)

Hollyford Lodge Pyke dining

Day Two

As the morning sun shines over the mountains, a delicious breakfast puts everyone on track, ready for the mystical forest, glistening Lake Alabaster and the optional crossing of one of Fiordland’s longest swing bridges.

Hollyford Rata vine on Podocarp

After a short walk, you'll board our jet boat for the next part of your adventure. These powerful and safe machines provide an exciting scenic ride along the Hollyford River and down to Lake McKerrow, where the glassy waters whisk past and the mountains rise dramatically above. You may even encounter a family of Bottlenose Dolphins who regularly visit the lower river and lake. Before the ride is over even your professional jet boat driver will have a story to share.

The human history in the Hollyford Valley is as incredible as the scenery. Throughout your multi day adventure you’ll discover the triumphs and tragedies of ill-fated Jamestown, you’ll pass ancient forests with thousand year old giants such as native Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea, and soon, the towering lowland podocarp forest transforms into a tenacious coastal garden.

Thunderous surf on the rugged West Coast is a prelude to a bay of boulders, where the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin is a seasonal visitor. Continue on, and Long Reef plays host to a rookery of native New Zealand Fur Seals, here you’ll marvel at their nimble skills in the crashing surf and relax as they laze on the rocks.

Martins Bay Lodge completes an unforgettable second day. Raise a glass to the traditional ‘Hollyford Toast’ as a wonderful way to finish your day.

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Day Two Highlights

Hollyford jet boat journey

Jet Boating the Hollyford River

Martins Bay Lodge At Night

Martins Bay Lodge At Night

Day Three

After another hearty breakfast you’ll explore Martins Bay Spit, a famous landmark separating the powerful Tasman Sea from the Hollyford Valley.

Hollyford Helicopter fun

Here you will view historical sites, where chief Tutoko and his people guarded entry into the Hollyford Valley, controlling access into and out of highly valued pounamu (greenstone / jade) gathering areas. Your guide will also highlight the plant and wildlife of this unique environment helping you to discover the diversity of this remote area. You will have the opportunity to explore the sand dunes, and wander along the isolated beach at your own pace, with the Tasman Sea as your companion.

Returning to Martins Bay Lodge for lunch, your lodge hosts bid you farewell as you board the helicopter for a scenic flight along the rugged coastline and into the dramatic Milford Sound, where you'll marvel at the grandeur of vertical granite walls rising from the sea.

Once in Milford you’ll be met by your return shuttle host and travel along the impressive Milford Road, up through the famous Homer Tunnel, cutting through a divide of sheer granite rock, and stopping at the source of the Hollyford Valley and River before embarking on your last leg back to Te Anau and Queenstown.

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Day Three Highlights

Hollyford Rocky beach scape

Martins Bay Sandspit

Hollyford walking Martins Bay sandspit

Hiking Through Sand Dunes On Martins Bay Spit

Rates / Departures

SUMMER 17/18

Oct 2017 22, 24, 26, 28, 30
Nov 2017 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29
Dec 2017 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30
Jan 2018 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31
Feb 2018 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28
Mar 2018 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30
Apr 2018* 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25

*All April trips ONLY depart from Te Anau

Rates 2017/18

Retail Rates (Season runs from October to April) 2017 -2018 Season 

Low season: 22nd October to 23rd December 2017, and between 19th January - 6th February 2018 and from 9th - 25th April 2018

Adult: 15+ years NZ$1895.00 inc gst
Child: 10 - 14 years NZ$1495.00 inc gst

High season: 26th December 2017 to 17th January 2018, and between 8th February and 7th April 2018

Adult: 15+ years     NZ$2095.00 inc gst
Child: 10 - 14 years NZ$1695.00 inc gst

Single rooming supplement (all season) NZ$995.00 inc gst.

Please note:

  • A completed booking form and a NZD$500 deposit per person is required to secure your booking.

  • A 2% booking fee applies to all credit card bookings.

  • The balance of payment is to be paid 60 days prior to departure of the walk

  • For cancellations initiated by the customer prior to the departure of the walk, the following applies:

        i. Cancellations within 21 days of walk departure date: cancellation fee of 100% of the total trip cost

       ii. Cancellations between 21 - 59 days from walk departure date: cancellation fee is 50% of the total trip cost

      iii. Cancellations between 60 - 89 days from walk departure date: cancellation fee is 25% of the total trip cost

      iv. Cancellations 90 days or more from walk departure date: cancellation fee is NZD$100 per person

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you arrange personal travel/medical insurance at the time of booking to guard against loss of fares paid caused by any eventuality necessitating cancellation of your trip within our cancellation period. Cancellations could be due to reasons beyond your control such as: falling ill prior to your departure / a sprained ankle whilst partaking in another activity / a family bereavement / missing a flight to Queenstown and therefore, missing your departure etc.

 For full Terms & Conditions please click here

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Rates 2017/18

Retail Rates (Season runs from October to April) 2017 - 2018 Season

Low season: 22nd October to 23rd December 2017, and between 19th January - 6th February 2018 and from 9th - 25th April 2018
Adult: 15+ years NZ$1895.00 inc gst
Child: 10 -14 years NZ$1495.00 inc gst
High season: 26th December 2017 to 17th January 2018, and between 8th February and 7th April 2018
Adult: 15+ years NZ$2095.00 inc gst
Child: 8 - 14 years NZ$1695.00 inc gst
Single rooming supplement (all season) NZ$995.00 inc gst

We walk through the rainforest of our South West coast and this location can experience high rainfall. Out of interest, Fiordland has one of the highest levels of rainfall in the world! Whilst this can make it spectacular and contributes to the beautiful flora, it also means that the track can be very wet, muddy and slippery.  Likewise the creeks can rise rapidly, and therefore our groups often have to walk through water and mud – hence good quality, waterproof hiking boots are essential.