Hiking

The Hollyford Track Wilderness Experience

This fully guided three day walk’s a great option if you want an easy going hike in the amazing Fiordland wilderness without big climbs. There’s plenty of creature comforts too with great accomodation and food! You also get a breathtaking jet boat and helicopter ride - it’s a perfect luxury adventure!

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Activity in brief

Distance:
43 km
Duration:
3 days
Start - End:
Lower Hollyford Road - Martins Bay
Transport:
Bus, Jet Boat, Helicopter

Terrain: Easy, mostly level tramping with some gradual climbs

Accommodation: Private Lodges

Nearest Town: Te Anau, Queenstown

Activity Overview


This fully guided three day walk follows the Hollyford Valley: a beautiful stretch of tumbling river surrounded by huge snow capped mountains and waterfalls. Beautiful native forest and birdlife is a main feature of the trail, as well as a seal colony: this is the only track in Fiordland that features the wild and remote west coast at Martins Bay.

Its relatively easy hiking - you can even bring older children along if you wish. You'll retrace the footsteps of original Māori and early pioneer explorers, as the track undulates gently through native beech forest. A jet boat ride even gives you an exciting shortcut along Lake McKerrow. Each evening you arrive in the sort of cozy lodge you wouldn't believe could exist in such a wild place - three course dinners are also included! A spectacular helicopter ride to Milford Sound completes this amazing adventure of a lifetime.

Itineraries

Personalised Itineraries

You can also combine this walk with any other activity on this website to create your own unique itinerary. When you develop your own tailor-made itinerary with us, it's fully customised with your choice of activities, accommodation and transport around New Zealand. Contact us today to find out how we can create your perfect Active Aotearoa Adventure! 


OR SIMPLY BOOK This activity now...
The Hollyford Track Wilderness Experience
  • Fully guided all the way with friendly and knowledgeable guides.
  • Includes very comfortable wilderness lodge accommodation.
  • Includes bus, jet boat and helicopter transportation, with pickups from Te Anau or Queenstown.
  • Includes breakfasts, lunches and 3 course evening meals.

Day One: Hollyford Trailhead to Pyke Lodge (19.5km 7 Hours). Starting early in the morning, either in Te Anau or Queenstown, you will be picked up and driven out to the start of the track. From here you follow 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). 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 while reflecting on a great first day.

Day Two: Pyke Lodge to Martins Bay Lodge (15km 5 Hours). Today your main pack will be transported to Martins Bay Lodge while you carry a provided smaller day pack for your daily essentials. The first part of Day Two's walk takes you to the 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 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. As you continue on foot, 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. Meanwhile Long Reef plays host to a rookery of native New Zealand Fur Seals. Martins Bay Lodge completes an unforgettable second day. Raise a glass to the traditional ‘Hollyford Toast’ as a wonderful way to finish your day.

Day Three: Martins Bay Spit Walk (8.5km 3-4 Hours). Today you explore Martins Bay Spit, a famous landmark separating the powerful Tasman Sea from the Hollyford Valley. 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. Here you’ll be met by your return shuttle back to Te Anau or Queenstown.

 

Pricing: The Hollyford Track Wilderness Experience

From NZD$2030 per adult and from NZD$1605 per child (10 - 14). Includes guiding, all transportation, luxury accommodation and fully catered throughout.

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Activity Planning

When to go

The Hollyford Track Wilderness Experience operates for six months from late October through to late April.

The weather during these months is often warmer and dryer, but this being Fiordland does mean that there is a decent probability of heavy rainfall at any given time, and the track may get quite muddy in places.

What to bring

Wet weather gear

Stout boots

Gaiters optional (for muddy conditions)

Hat and gloves

Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Insect repellant, long sleeved shirts and trousers (to combat the sand flies)

Walking poles can be provided

Accommodation
Accommodation on the trail

These private lodges are exclusively for the use of walkers on this trip, and are very well appointed with dining and lounge areas, open fires, drying rooms, separate flush toilet and shower facilities with unlimited hot water, soap, shampoo, towels and hair dryers provided. The lodge bedrooms are twin share rooms with linen, duvets and hot water bottles also provided. 

Pyke Lodge

Your first evening on the track is at the rustic Pyke Lodge nestled beneath the converging mountain ranges and amongst native forest at the confluence of the Hollyford and Pyke Rivers. All meals on the Hollyford Track are provided, from 3 course evening cuisine, cooked and/or continental breakfasts to wilderness lunches and a seemingly endless supply of treats from your guides along the way. The lodges have full commercial kitchen facilities and your lodge hosts, who are experienced chefs and hosts are there to ensure your time in the lodges is as memorable as your time on the track. They are also fully licensed so you can also enjoy a drink from the selection of New Zealand beverages, be it a refreshing beer at the end of the days walking, a fine Central Otago Pinot Noir over dinner or a celebratory glass of bubbles to toast your day.

Martins Bay Lodge

The evening of day two is spent at Martins Bay Lodge on the lowland flats close to mouth of the Hollyford River. Cheeky Kea, a large alpine parrot, often play in the Cabbage Trees outside the lodge at dusk and the sound of the surf on nearby Martins Bay Spit is a soothing evening soundtrack.

ACCOMMODATION IN Te Anau or Queenstown

We can organise your accommodation in either Te Anau or Queenstown for before and after your walk if you wish. Please let us know what sort of accommodation you are looking for when you make your booking for this activity, and we can discuss the options with you.

Transportation
Bus

You meet your shuttle bus out to the start of the trail in either Te Anau or Queenstown - which ever suits you best. At the end of the trip you are flown by helicopter to Milford sound and then returned to where you started by bus again.

Jet Boat

You get a fast and exciting jet boat ride down the 25km long Lake McKerrow on day two. This ensures you miss out the toughest (and often muddiest) section of track, and you also have a complete blast!

Helicopter

One of the highlights of this amazing trip is the helicopter ride from Martins Bay to Milford Sound on the last day. The views genuinely can't get more epic! 

What else?
Some of the other great things you can do in this region...

 

Kayak Fiordland

We have a number of fantastic kayaking trips available in fiordland from day tours to multi day epics.

You can find out more here...

 

Rafting

There are some amazing White Water Rafting Trips you can experience in the region, from short half-day adventures to multi-day excursions out in to true wilderness.

You can find out more here...

 

Diving Milford Sound

Milford Sound, the most accessible fiord, has to be one of the most spectacular and memorable diving locations in the world.

From NZD$345 per person: Includes a cruise with 2 guided dives, diving equipment (wetsuit as standard - drysuit & nitrox upgrades available) snacks, refreshments and photos.

Find out more about this activity and other amazing NZ diving opportunities here...

 

Jet Boating

The famous Shotover River close to Queenstown is one of the most popular jet boating locations in New Zealand where you have the classic experience of flying inches from the rocky walls of steep gorges. Alternatively take an exhilarating and spectacular journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park with the only jet boat operator allowed on the Dart River.

Shotover Jet: Adult From NZD$155 / Child From NZD$89

Dart River: From NZD$259 per person

For more information about these and other fantastic Jet Boating adventures Click Here...

Route Map
Get in touch

For more information about us or our services contact us on
+ 64 3 390 1584
or email us at [email protected]

Enquire Now