Guided Walks on the Hollyford Track
Located south of Queenstown in the spectacular Fiordland National
Park, the dramatic Hollyford Track guided wilderness experience
is one of New Zealandís greatest nature walks.
Explore undisturbed and inspiring scenery that has remained largely
untouched for thousands of years, from the snow capped mountains
of the majestic Southern Alps, ancient native rainforest, pristine
rivers and lakes to the remote sand dunes, reef and surf of the
rugged West Coast. Your expert guide will bring to life the diversity
of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife within this beautiful valley,
as well as the captivating stories of the original Maori and early
pioneers. The experiences are just as diverse and include hiking
through 'World Heritage Area' wilderness, native wildlife encounters,
wilderness jet-boating, exploring historical sites, and a scenic
flight to Milford Sound.
On this 3 day / 2 night all inclusive guided nature walk experience
you'll enjoy cuisine prepared and served by our friendly lodge hosts
while relaxing in our well appointed and comfortable private lodges.
A maximum number of 16 people in your group provides for a personal
experience, and with your guide sharing their intimate knowledge
of the area with you, itís a wonderful way to explore the very essence
of New Zealandís wilderness.
If there is one experience that delivers the diversity and very
essence of New Zealand wilderness - it is with out a doubt, a guided
nature walk through the Hollyford Valley. Here youíll marvel at
ever changing scenery from towering mountains to pounding coast
and everything in between, explore an unspoilt wilderness with giants
of an ancient forest and native wildlife, discover your sense of
adventure and find inspiration around every corner. For a truly
unique experience join us on the Hollyford Track guided nature walk
adventure and 'Journey Into The Most Beautiful Valley In New Zealand'.
We employ a small team of local wilderness guides who are dedicated
to New Zealand's environment, culture, history and heritage. Your
expert guides are passionate about the Fiordland area and in particular
the Hollyford Valley, they are extremely knowledgeable about the
flora, fauna, geology and geography as well as the rich Maori and
pioneering history of this spectacular part of New Zealand.
Your guides are natural leaders and story tellers, and with 2 guides
to a maximum group size of 16, often less, they are able to deliver
an unrivalled level of individualised interpretation and guiding.
Hollyford Track is a personalised experience and with your guide
sharing their intimate knowledge of the area with you, it's a wonderful
way to explore the very essence of New Zealand's wilderness.
Travel in comfort from Queenstown and Te Anau through some of
New Zealand's most divine scenery of beautiful lakes and glacial
valleys dwarfed by majestic mountains to the start of the track
in the Hollyford Valley. We highly recommend all our guests to start
their Hollyford Journey in Te Anau, for a more relaxing start to
the trip. By starting in Queenstown you will be picked up at approx,
6:30am, in comparison, by starting in Te Anau you will simply meet
the group for morning tea at 9am!
Shadowing the swift clear waters of the Hollyford River and beneath
the gaze of the mighty Southern Alps, including Fiordland National
Parks two highest peaks of Mt Tūtoko (2746m) and Mt Madeline (2537m),
you'll re-trace footsteps of original Maori and early pioneer explorers,
as the track undulates gently through native beech forest and beside
impressive tumbling waterfalls. As ample food and comfortable bedding
are all provided by your guides and at our private lodges, you are
relieved of the burden of carrying a weighty pack and are free to
discover a fascinating world through the expert interpretation of
At the end of your first dayís adventure youíll be welcomed at Pyke
Lodge by your friendly lodge hosts. Here youíll 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 on your guided nature walk experience.
17kmís walking from the start of the track to Pyke River
Lodge with 5 - 7 hours of walking. You will also be travelling
by our shuttle transport from Queenstown or Te Anau along
beautiful lakes and glacial carved valleys to the start of
As the morning light drapes the background mountains, a tasty
cooked or continental breakfast puts everyone on track before being
rewarded with a mystical forest, reflections like a mirror on Lake
Alabaster and the satisfaction of an optional crossing of Fiordlandís
longest swing bridge.
After a short walk you'll board our jet boat for the next part of
your adventure. Jet boats were invented in New Zealand for the shallow
rivers of the South Island and these powerful and safe boats provide
for a captivating scenic ride along the Hollyford River and down
Lake McKerrow with glassy water whisking past and mountains rising
dramatically above. You may even encounter a family of Bottlenose
Dolphins who are regular visitors to the lower river and lake. Before
the ride is over even your professional jet boat driver has a story
Human history in the Hollyford Valley is as incredible as the scenery
and youíll stop to discover the tragedies and triumphs of ill-fated
Jamestown before walking through ancient forest giants such as native
Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea, some believed to be up to 1000 years
old. 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. A little farther on, Long Reef plays
host to a colony of native New Zealand Fur Seals where youíll marvel
at their nimble skills in the crashing surf and relax as they laze
on the rocks.
Martinís Bay Lodge completes a special second day and glasses are
raised to the traditional ĎHollyford Toastí as a memorable way to
finish your day.
12kmís between Pyke River Lodge and Martins Bay Lodge with 4
- 5 hours of walking. You will also cover approximately 25kmís
by jet boat down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow.
After another hearty breakfast youíll explore Martinís Bay Spit,
a famous landmark separating the powerful Tasman Sea from the Hollyford
Valley, and a coastal landscape that is a world away from the previous
Here you will view historical sites of Maori occupation of the area
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 truly remote area. You will also
have the opportunity to explore in your own time the isolated beach
and sand dunes or to just wander at your own pace with the Tasman
Sea as your companion and reflect upon this intrepid journey.
Returning to Martins Bay Lodge for lunch, your lodge hosts bid you
farewell as you board your helicopter for a scenic flight along the
rugged coast and into the truly spectacular and dramatic Milford
Sound where you'll marvel at the grandeur of vertical granite walls
rising from the sea.
Once in Milford youíll be met by your return shuttle host and travel
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 journey
back to Te Anau and Queenstown.
8kmís walking along Martins Bay Spit taking 3 - 4 hours. You
will also take a spectacular flight along the coast and into the
breath-taking Milford Sound before boarding our shuttle
transport to return to Te Anau or Queenstown.
At the end of an invigorating day of exploration, you'll arrive
at your warm and dry lodge, and to a hearty welcome and fine cuisine
prepared by your friendly and professional lodge hosts. Whilst Hollyford
Track is in the isolated and rugged wilderness of Fiordland, it
doesn't mean you can't enjoy all the comforts of home. Your lodges
have been purpose designed and built to provide you with a level
of comfort and indulgence in the last place you would expect it.
Your private lodges are exclusively for the use of you, our guided
walk guests, 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
Lodge bedrooms are twin share rooms with linen, duvets and hot water
bottles provided. Should you be travelling alone, every effort will
be made to accommodate you privately. However, this may not be possible
when your group is at maximum or near maximum capacity of 16 people.
Lodges run on battery bank powered electricity, and we do conserve
energy by turning off some electrical facilities overnight. However,
lighting is available throughout the night.
The evening of Day One is spent at the rustic Pyke River Lodge nestled
beneath the converging mountain ranges and amongst native forest
at the confluence of the Hollyford and Pyke Rivers. Pyke River Lodge
is often graced with spectacular views of the sun setting and rising
on the majestic Mt Madeline and Darran Range.
The evening of Day Two is spent at Martins Bay Lodge, a new 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
Martins Bay Lodge at dusk and the sound of the surf on nearby Martins
Bay Spit is a soothing evening soundtrack.
Both lodges provide a home away from home, their level of appointment
and comfort belies the splendid isolation of this remote wilderness
area. Your lodges are a great place to unwind at the end of each
day, enjoy our hospitality, share stories with new friends, to relax
and read a book, or simply to watch the beauty of the night descending
and reflect upon your day.
Your friendly team of experienced lodge hosts are there to ensure
your time in the lodges is as memorable as your time on the track.
Your lodge hosts all have extensive backgrounds in the hospitality
industry and are experienced chefs and entertainers, they will welcome
you into your comfortable lodges as if they were welcoming you into
their own homes
With your well appointed lodges, fine cuisine and sociable attentive
hosts you'll be more than comfortable in your 'home away from home'
Ė Pyke River and Martins Bay Lodges.
All meals on Hollyford Track are provided, from 3 course evening
cuisine and cooked and/or continental breakfasts to wilderness
lunches and a seemingly endless supply of treats from your guides
along the way. Your lodges have full commercial kitchen facilities
and your lodge hosts are experienced chefs and hosts, they are
there to ensure your time in the lodges is as memorable as your
time on the track.
From years of experience hosting you, our guests, we know you
will have worked up an appetite after an invigorating dayís
walk and therefore plentiful refreshments and food are provided
throughout your Hollyford Track experience. Your lodges are
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.
Upon arrival at the lodges youíll enjoy a snack and your preference
of hot or cold drink. An impressive antipasto platter including
breads, crackers, New Zealand cheeseís, cold meats, sushi and
garlic prawns, just to name a few, is a prelude to the mouth
watering mains. Mains may consist of cuisine such as Fiordland
venison or Stewart Island Salmon and will be accompanied by
seasonal fresh produce such oven roasted vegetables, leafy greens
to saffron infused rice.
And of course no Kiwi meal would be complete without dessert;
we guarantee our sweet dishes especially will have you asking
the lodge hosts for the recipe.
Breakfasts are tasty, hearty and well balanced to give you just
the right fuel for the day ahead. A hot cuppa or strong brew
will kick start your day and breakfast offers a selection of
cereal and fruit through to a full cooked breakfast of eggs
benedict or bacon and eggs (any way!) on toast.
Lunch of sandwiches, rolls, biscuits, cake and fruit is en-route
and enjoyed outdoors amidst a spectacular wilderness setting.
If weather does not allow, lunch is enjoyed indoors in your
comfortable lunch huts. Hot drinks will also be provided for
you at the lunch stops. And, your ever attentive guides are
never far off with a high energy snack to keep you going throughout
We can also cater for individual dietary requirements. Please
let us know if you have any special dietary requests or needs
and we will do our very best to cater specifically for you.
Your lodge hosts take great pride and delight in preparing superb
cuisine and your meals are a real treat of the Hollyford Track
For prices and secure booking
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This activity is also available as part of on of our Custom Itineraries
or holidays, please visit our home page to learn more about how
we can help you with your holiday.
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