Skip to contentSkip to menu

3 Day Hollyford Track Guided Walk

About 43 kms hiking over 3 days

Days
3

Pricing From
$2050

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

The Hollyford Track New Zealand 3 Day Wilderness Journey is an all inclusive spectacular walk from the mountains to the sea that is suitable for a wide range of fitness levels. Unlike any other walk, the scenery is geologically spectacular and ever changing - snow capped mountains, glaciers, rainforests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, reefs, sand dunes and surf. The experiences are diverse- hiking, wildlife interaction, historical tales, jet boating, and a magnificent scenic helicopter flight to Milford Sound.

Step back in time and experience spectacular geology, intriguing ecology and a fascinating history of human endeavour.

The first human arrives, Maori, and a coastal village evolves. The tribe gathers abundant seafood and builds canoes from the giant trees of the forests.

Explorer James Cook visits and is overawed by this land of mountains and wild coastline. Then come the sealers and the whalers and the gold hunters. The settlers arrive who start to build a small town and attempt to clear the lowland forests for farming.

Sound like a very concise history of New Zealand? It is, and it all occurred in one Fiordland valley, the Hollyford. So deep is the history of the Hollyford Valley that even its sheer thousand metre high walls stand dwarfed in comparison.

World Heritage Area

The Hollyford Valley, internationally recognised as a place of outstanding natural values is situated within Fiordland National Park which has been accorded World Heritage status.

Conservation Management Statement: "The operators of The Hollyford Track are committed to the prudent management and sustained preservation of the conservation estate in which it exists.

The company appreciates and honours the opportunity it has to operate within Fiordland National Park and Te Wahipounamu, a unique environment that deserves respect and care.

Despite this protected area being increasingly sought for its wilderness quality, The Hollyford Track management demands of itself and all its guests the preservation of its beauty for all future generations."

Accommodation

At the end of an invigorating day of exploration, you'll arrive at a warm and dry lodge, a hearty welcome and fine cuisine. The evening of Day One is spent at Pyke River Lodge, at the confluence of Hollyford and Pyke Rivers. Night two is spent at Martins Bay Lodge, close to mouth of the Hollyford River.

The lodges are a great place to unwind watch the beauty of the evening night descending and reflect on your day. Our well-appointed lodges have unlimited hot water, separate toilet and shower facilities. Towels, duvets and linen are all provided.

The lodge bedrooms are twin share rooms (double occupancy), and should you be travelling alone, every effort will be made to accommodate you privately. However, when our group is at maximum capacity (16) this may not be possible.

The lodges run on generator power, and we do conserve energy by turning out lights at 11pm. If you wish to read later, please pack a torch.

Testimonials

The experience I had on your Hollyford Track tour is something that I will remember for many years to come.  It wasn't simply the scenery and the exercise in such a remote region that was enjoyable, but I was inspired by the many stories that our guides told of the harsh challenges faced by the early pioneers of the area, it created an atmosphere of adventure throughout the 3 days.  The meals provided for me at Pyke and Martins Bay Lodges were excellent, in fact, the meal at Pyke Lodge was better than many I have had in restaurants here in the UK.  I will be returning to New Zealand next year and will be booking a place on another one of your Hollyford Track tours as the experience is well worth repeating. - P. Stunn, United Kingdom

Having travelled to many places in the world, New Zealand is now top on our list as the most beautiful place we have been and the Hollyford Track was probably our favourite on the trip. The scenery was incredible, over the course of the three days we went from one jaw dropping view to the next.  To us, this tour captures the ‘heart' of what the South Island is all about. - P. & M. Spiewak, United States of America
I would like extend my appreciation to everyone concerned for making this one of the best holidays I have ever had. I was impressed by the professionalism and friendliness of all involved. Wonderfully informative and engaging guides, the hospitality, food and amenities at all the lodges were first class and the scenery exceeded my wildest expectations. - L. Wright, Australia

Tour Grading: B

  • The days are long but not difficult.
  • We have guests from the ages of 10 to 84 doing the walk and as long as you are an actively fit person you will manage the walk.
  • Remember you only carry your pack on the first day's walk in and the last day's walk out if your are doing the walk out tour, the rest of the time it is taken by boat / plane.

Start of the Hollyford Track

Pyke River, the Darran Mountains and Mount Madeline Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Guide discussing botanical information Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hiking on Little Homer Saddle Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Pyke Lodge at night

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Lodge hosts serving pre-dinner platter Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Mt Madeline reflected on Lake Alabaster

Native Lowland Temperate Rainforest Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Martins Bay Lodge Hollyford Track

Martins Bay Lodge

Martins Bay Lodge Hollyford Track

Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Hollyford Walking Track

Long Reef, Martins Bay Hollyford Track

Hollyford Track Guided Walk Fiordland National Park New Zealand

Hollyford Track Guided Walk Fiordland National Park New Zealand

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Waterfalls, Pyke River Lodge, Glow WormsWalking Distance: Approx 19.5 kms (12 miles)

Pre-Departure Briefing: Held at 5:30 pm the day before your departure date - please check-in at 5:25 pm.

For a more relaxing start to your multi day hiking adventure, we recommend beginning in Te Anau, where you will meet the group at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel at 8:30am. In contrast, if you start in Queenstown, you will be picked up from your accommodation or central meeting point from 6:30am.

Parking at the start of the track we put on our packs (see our FAQs for packing advice to keep your pack light) and start our 19.5km journey to Pyke lodge. You will 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).

You'll retrace the footsteps of original Māori and early pioneer explorers, as the track undulates gently through native beech forest and beside impressive tumbling waterfalls.

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 and savour the majesty of Mt Madeline while reflecting on a great first day of your guided walk experience.

Day 2Lakes, Jet Boating, 1000 Year Old Trees and Wildlife ExperienceWalking Distance: Approx 15 kms (9 miles)

Today we cover 15km by foot and your main pack will be transported to Martins Bay Lodge while you carry a smaller day pack (that we provide) for your daily essentials. After an initial short walk, you'll board our 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 to 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. Before the ride is over even your professional jet boat driver will have a story to share.

The human history in the Hollyford Valley is as incredible as the scenery. Throughout your multi day adventure you’ll discover the triumphs and tragedies of ill-fated Jamestown, you’ll pass ancient forests with thousand year old giants such as native Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea, and 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. Continue on, and Long Reef plays host to a rookery of native New Zealand Fur Seals, here you’ll marvel at their nimble skills in the crashing surf and relax as they laze on the rocks.

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 3Martins Bay Beach and Coastline /Scenic Helicopter Flight to Milford SoundWalking Distance: Up to 8.5 kms (5 miles)

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, 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 along 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 last leg back to Te Anau and Queenstown.

Cost per Person

Low Season: 2 Oct 2019 - 23 Dec 2019

  • Adult: NZ$2,050
  • Child: NZ$1,625*

High Season: 26 Dec 2019 - 28 Apr 2020

  • Adult: NZ$2,250
  • Child: NZ$1,825*
  • Single room supplement NZ$1,025

*Child Age: 10-14 years

Full payment is required at the time of booking.

Cancellation Terms:

  • Cancellations within 30 days of walk departure date: cancellation fee of 100% of the total trip cost
  • Cancellations between 30 - 89 days from walk departure date: cancellation fee is 50% of the total trip cost
  • Cancellations 90 days or more from walk departure date: cancellation fee is NZD$200 per person
  • Once the walk has commenced no refund applies in any circumstance

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Waterfalls, Pyke River Lodge, Glow WormsWalking Distance: Approx 19.5 kms (12 miles)

Pre-Departure Briefing: Held at 5:30 pm the day before your departure date - please check-in at 5:25 pm.

For a more relaxing start to your multi day hiking adventure, we recommend beginning in Te Anau, where you will meet the group at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel at 8:30am. In contrast, if you start in Queenstown, you will be picked up from your accommodation or central meeting point from 6:30am.

Parking at the start of the track we put on our packs (see our FAQs for packing advice to keep your pack light) and start our 19.5km journey to Pyke lodge. You will 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).

You'll retrace the footsteps of original Māori and early pioneer explorers, as the track undulates gently through native beech forest and beside impressive tumbling waterfalls.

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 and savour the majesty of Mt Madeline while reflecting on a great first day of your guided walk experience.

Day 2Lakes, Jet Boating, 1000 Year Old Trees and Wildlife ExperienceWalking Distance: Approx 15 kms (9 miles)

Today we cover 15km by foot and your main pack will be transported to Martins Bay Lodge while you carry a smaller day pack (that we provide) for your daily essentials. After an initial short walk, you'll board our 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 to 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. Before the ride is over even your professional jet boat driver will have a story to share.

The human history in the Hollyford Valley is as incredible as the scenery. Throughout your multi day adventure you’ll discover the triumphs and tragedies of ill-fated Jamestown, you’ll pass ancient forests with thousand year old giants such as native Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea, and 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. Continue on, and Long Reef plays host to a rookery of native New Zealand Fur Seals, here you’ll marvel at their nimble skills in the crashing surf and relax as they laze on the rocks.

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 3Martins Bay Beach and Coastline /Scenic Helicopter Flight to Milford SoundWalking Distance: Up to 8.5 kms (5 miles)

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, 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 along 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 last leg back to Te Anau and Queenstown.

Similar Tours

3 Day Abel Tasman Walking Break
3 Day Abel Tasman Walking Break

Read more

3 Day Queen Charlotte Track Upgrade Independent Walk
3 Day Queen Charlotte Track Upgrade Independent Walk

Read more

3 Day Mount Somers Circuit Guided Hike
3 Day Mount Somers Circuit Guided Hike

Read more

Darran Mountains Rock Climbing Trip (3 or 4 Days)
Darran Mountains Rock Climbing Trip (3 or 4 Days)

Read more