Update as at 3.07.20 - We are pleased to announce the Hollyford Track 3 Day Wilderness Experience will be opening for a shorter season from 2 January to 29 March 2021!
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That said, the days are long, and Day One in particular can be quite tiring for some as you walk 19.5km in approximately 7 hours while carrying your own pack. From Day Two your pack is transported for you while you carry a smaller day pack that we provide for your daily essentials. If you have a reasonable level of fitness you will find it pleasantly challenging, and highly rewarding!
To prepare yourself, we recommend structuring a training programme (at least 6 weeks beforehand) to ensure your walk with us is comfortable and therefore enjoyable. Some helpful tips are:
Looking after those feet!
Your guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid kits with them; there are also first aid kits in our lodges, jet boats and coach. Our satellite and radio communications network means we have communication at all times within the valley, to our operations base in Queenstown and with emergency services.
In many emergency cases in New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) will cover the costs related to personal injury if incurred whilst in New Zealand. Please note however, that we highly recommend all walkers have personal travel/medical insurance while on the Hollyford Track as we can not guarantee that ACC will cover any cost associated with injury or evacuation. If injury or evacuation is not covered by ACC you will need personal travel/medical insurance to cover any associated costs which may for example include, but not be limited to, helicopter, medical, hospital, accommodation and flight rescheduling/cancellation costs. If an emergency is not covered by ACC and you do not have personal travel/medical insurance any associated costs will be passed on directly to you.
Whilst ACC will cover NZ Residents for medical emergencies and accidents on the track, we recommend domestic travel insurance to cover cancellations due to reasons such as: falling ill prior to your departure / a sprained ankle whilst partaking in another activity / a bereavement in the family / missing a flight to Queenstown and therefore, missing your departure etc
Hollyford Track is in a remote wilderness area and it is important to note that we don’t have modern communication amenities such as cell phone reception, telephones, faxes and email. Whilst these amenities are now a standard part of our modern lives you will be glad not to have them for a few days as it gives you a 100% revitalising break from your ‘other’ lives. It doesn’t take long to adjust and enjoy not having them.
Do take comfort in that we have satellite phones, satellite internet and radio contact for the daily operational running of Hollyford Track and of course for use in the very unlikely case of an emergency.
The weather in Fiordland in general can be very unpredictable and change dramatically, very quickly; the close proximity of towering mountains and the ocean makes for conditions and temperatures that can vary markedly during the course of a day.
Summer months average around 20°C but the evenings can be a little cooler, our lodges of course are warm and comfortable. Winter temperatures average around 10°C on the coast with the evenings much colder.It is not unusual to experience both summer and winter conditions and temperatures on the same day!
It is important to be prepared for the worst conditions, even if they don't occur, and carry the appropriate clothing at all times. In the event of extreme weather the safety of all walkers is our priority and parts of the track may be bypassed if deemed to be of risk. In very rare situations your guide may need to adapt the day's walk, any decision to do this is a professional decision made by the guide, please respect their decision as it is based on experience and with your safety and comfort in mind.
Regardless of the conditions you experience, sun, rain, a combination of the two, or anything in between, your experience on the Hollyford Track will be a memorable one.
Clouds over Lake Alabaster
Sunshine at Long beach
Pre-departure briefings provide an opportunity to meet the other guests in your group, with whom you will be spending the next three days, and will cover the details you will need to know for your departure the following day such as what to bring, what’s provided, itinerary breakdown and departure pick-up schedule. This is also the opportunity to ask any questions and to pick up and make use of our backpacks and rain jackets if required.
Download our pre-trip information and gear checklist (PDF)
We strongly recommend good supportive hiking boots for the Hollyford Track. The track can be wet, muddy and slippery depending on the weather conditions.