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Vacation Itinerary

Starting at $1399* per person
*Price is based on double occupancy during low season

Dates: Various departures January – April


Located south of Queenstown in the spectacular Fiordland National Park the dramatic Hollyford Track guided wilderness experience is one of New Zealand’s greatest nature hikes.


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, it’s a wonderful way to explore the very essence of New Zealand’s wilderness.


Day 1: 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 Tutoko (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 your guide. At the end of your first day’s 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 on your guided nature walk experience.

Walking distance is approximately 12 miles.


Day 2: 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 Fiordland’s 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 to share. Human history in the Hollyford Valley is as incredible as the scenery and you’ll 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 you’ll marvel at their nimble skills in the g surf and relax as they laze on the rocks. Martin’s Bay Lodge completes a special second day and glasses are raised to the traditional ‘Hollyford Toast’ as a memorable way to finish your day.

Walking distance is approximately 7 miles.


Day 3: After another hearty breakfast you’ll explore Martin’s 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 days. 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 aircraft 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 you’ll 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.

Walking distance is approximately 5 miles.


Included:

  • Pre departure briefing
  • Experienced guide for duration of walk
  • Coach transport from Queenstown/Te Anau to the start of the Track
  • Lodge accommodation on the Track, in well-appointed twin share rooms with shared bathroom facilities
  • All meals on the track
  • Duvets, towels, shampoo, soap, hairdryers & hot water bottles
  • Captivating jet boat journey across Lake McKerrow
  • Scenic flight to Milford Sound
  • Return coach transport to Queenstown (not applicable if guest chooses to overnight in Te Anau or Milford)
  • Use of backpacks and rain jackets if required
*Price is based on current exchange rate and subject to change
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