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  • Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Duration:  3 days (approx.)
Located in spectacular Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island, the Hollyford Track is one of the country’s greatest hiking trails, and you can experience its breathtaking setting on this 3-day guided walk. Your expert guide will lead you from the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps through ancient native rainforest, past pristine rivers and lakes, and to the remote sand dunes and surf of the rugged West Coast. The diversity of the landscape, vegetation and wildlife will be brought to life, as will the captivating stories of early Maoris and pioneering families.

You’ll travel through the Hollyford Valley on foot and by jet boat, and take a spectacular scenic helicopter flight into Milford Sound. As part of a small-group tour with no more than 16 participants, enjoy personalized service, world-class cuisine and comfortable, private lodge accommodation.

Highlights

  • 3-day all-inclusive guided walk on the Hollyford Track
  • Walk through the Hollyford Valley in Fiordland National Park
  • Enjoy a wilderness jet boat ride down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow
  • Visit a colony of native New Zealand fur seals at Long Reef
  • Take a scenic Milford Sound helicopter flight
  • 2 nights of comfortable lodge accommodation are included
  • 3-course gourmet dinners, hearty breakfasts and packed lunches are included
  • Traveling in a small group of no more than 16 participants allows for a personalized experience
  • Choice of departure from Queenstown or Te Anau

What You Can Expect

3-Day Hollyford Track Guided Walk with Scenic Helicopter Flight

Lower Hollyford Track

Day 1: 12 miles (19.5km) of walking (L, D)
Travel by coach from Queenstown or Te Anau to the start of the track in the Hollyford Valley, passing through some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery.

Stepping into the Hollyford Valley is like entering a world that’s remained untouched for thousands of years. Naturally spectacular and ever-changing, the valley has an unparalleled diversity of vegetation and wildlife that makes for an incredible walking experience.

Begin your walk along the Hollyford River, retracing the footsteps of the indigenous Maori people and the island’s early explorers. Enjoy interesting historical tales and interpretation of the forest and birdlife from your guide as you walk through native beech forest and alongside cascading waterfalls.

At the end of the first day’s walk, you’ll be welcomed at Pyke’s Lodge for your overnight stay. Take a hot shower and enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner. Nestled beneath the converging mountain ranges and among native forest at the union of the Hollyford and Pyke rivers, the lodge is a great place to take in the often-spectacular views of the sun setting and rising on Mt Madeline and the Darren Range.

Day 2: 9 miles (15km) of walking (B, L, D)
After a hearty breakfast at Pyke’s Lodge, begin your day with a short walk to Lake Alabaster and learn about the history and geology of this stunning section of the Hollyford Valley. Cross Fiordland's longest swing bridge (optional), then enjoy a wilderness jet boat journey down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow to the historic site of Jamestown, the intended capital of New Zealand’s South Island in the late 19th century.

Walk through the ancient Podocarp forest with giant Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea trees wrapped in massive Rata vines before visiting the New Zealand fur seal colony at Long Reef on the wild West Coast. Be on the lookout for the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin that nests in the surrounding rocks and scrub.

Arrive at Martin’s Bay Lodge, a new lodge located near the mouth of the Hollyford River. The sound of the surf on nearby Martins Bay Spit is a soothing evening soundtrack. Enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner and turn in for the night.

Day 5 miles (8.5km) of walking (B, L,)
After another delicious breakfast, take another jet boat ride, this time to Martins Bay Spit, a famous landmark that separates the Tasman Sea from Hollyford Valley. As you visit historical Maori sites, your guide will share Maori stories and highlight the plant and wildlife of this unique, diverse and remote area. You’ll also have time explore the isolated beach and sand dunes at your own pace.

Return to Martins Bay Lodge for lunch, and then take to the skies on a scenic helicopter flight along the rugged West Coast and into the spectacular Milford Sound.

From Milford Sound, return to Queenstown or Te Anau by coach along scenic Milford Road.

Itinerary

Accommodation:
At the end Day 1 and Day 2, you'll arrive at a warm and dry lodge, where you’ll enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner. Both lodges have been purpose-designed and built to provide a level of comfort and indulgence in the isolated and rugged Hollyford Valley.

The lodges are well appointed with dining and lounge areas, open fires, drying rooms, separate flush toilet and shower facilities with unlimited hot water. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels and hair dryers are provided.

Lodge bedrooms are twin-share (double occupancy) with linen, duvets and hot water bottles provided. Single travelers will be accommodated in a private room.

The lodges are a great place to unwind and relax at the end of each day.

Meals:
All meals are provided on the 3-day Hollyford Track Guided Walk. The lodge hosts take great pride in preparing superb cuisine and the meals are a highlight of the Hollyford Track experience.

Upon arrival at the lodges each evening, an antipasto platter including breads, biscuits/crackers, New Zealand cheese, cold meats and seafood is served. This is accompanied by a hot or cold beverage.

Main meals focus on local produce such as Fiordland venison or Stewart Island Salmon and will be accompanied by seasonal fresh produce such oven-roasted vegetables, leafy greens and saffron-infused rice.

This is followed by a delicious dessert, prepared at the lodge from fresh, local produce.

The lodges are fully licensed and offer a selection of New Zealand beer and wine (at own expense).

Breakfasts are tasty, hearty and well balanced and consist of a selection of cereal and fruit, as well as full, cooked breakfasts of eggs, bacon and toast.

Lunches of sandwiches, biscuits/cookies , cake and fruit are enjoyed during your walking, in the outdoors amid the spectacular scenery. If weather does not allow, lunch is enjoyed indoors in comfortable lunch huts. Hot drinks will also be provided at the lunch stops, and snacks are provided throughout the day.

Individual dietary requirements are catered for – please advise if you have any special dietary requirements at the time of booking.

What to bring:
The items required for the duration of the walk will fit in a medium-sized backpack that you only need to carry for one day. It should weigh no more than 10 to 15 pounds (5 to 7 kg). You will be required to carry it on Day 1 of the walk for about six to eight hours over 10.5 miles (17 km). On Days 2 and 3, all you need to carry is a small day-pack (which will be provided), a jacket, water and camera. The rest of the gear will be transported between the lodges by jet boat.

Fiordland has very changeable and unpredictable weather and you need to be well prepared, as it can change dramatically very quickly. It is important to bring the following appropriate equipment and clothing:

Walking Gear
Jacket - 100% waterproof and with a hood
Boots - hiking / tramping boots, preferably with ankle support and well 'worn in' / 'broken-in'
Socks - wool or thermal blend
Skin layer - wool or polypropylene thermal long sleeve and long leg
Mid layer - wool or micro fleece long sleeve
Outer layer - warm jumper or jacket (wool or fleece, preferably windproof)
Trousers/pants - quick-dry hiking / tramping trousers; - zip off hiking / tramping trousers allow you to also have a shorts option
Hat - wool or fleece for when cold; peaked or brimmed for when sunny
Gloves - wool or fleece

Evening Gear
Foot wear - light shoes, sandals
Socks - light and comfortable
Skin layer - underwear
Mid layer - shirt or t-shirt
Outer layer - jersey, jumper or sweater
Trousers - lightweight or track pants
Night wear - whatever you like to sleep in

Other Gear
Water bottle - 500ml minimum
Camera - with spare film / memory card and charger / batteries
Sunscreen - 30+ SPF
Insect repellent
Blister pack - ‘Second Skin’ or other blister protection
Toiletries - personal requirements (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, conditioner)
Money - credit card or cash for beer, wine and souvenirs
Swim wear - optional

You are advised to bring your own backpacks and 100% waterproof rain jackets, if you have them, as they are likely to be more comfortable and 'worn in' / 'broken in.’ However, if you do not have these items, they are available to borrow; you must pick them up the night before departure.

Walking in cotton, silk or denim garments is NOT recommended as those fabrics are unsuitable for Fiordland conditions; they do not breathe and can be cold and heavy.

Pack liners are provided. It is also recommended that you put all your gear in plastic bags for added water protection. Both lodges have drying rooms, so if your gear does get wet it should dry overnight if they are lightweight and fast drying.
From USD $ 1,573.75

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Tour code: 5628_3DWALK

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