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7 Day Fiordland, Hollyford and Stewart Island Trails

Days
7

Pricing From
$3785

Difficulty

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Overview

Embark on this classic 8 Day Milford Sound and Stewart Island Trails journey from the “adventure capital” Queenstown, starting off with a trek to the summit of Ben Lomond known for its wide-open views over Lake Wakatipu, the Queenstown basin, and even beyond on a clear day. After descending, we then journey through the rolling hills of Central Otago, a region rich in gold-mining history to Invercargill.

From the home of the most southerly point in South Island, we hop on a ferry for a change of pace in the remotest corner of New Zealand, the Stewart Island. We enjoy a free day of nature encounter with rare animals in their natural habitats, and if we are lucky, we might chance upon New Zealand’s flightless bird, the Kiwi, in its home. (Stewart Island is one of the remaining places in New Zealand with the highest chance of seeing this shy bird in its native habitat).

We change scenery with a ferry ride back to South Island’s mainland and a drive through north to Te Anau to walk and explore the lower reaches of the Fiordland National Park.

A public cruise down Milford Sound is an inspiring start to a journey into the Fiordland National Park. Later, aboard a scenic helicopter flight, see the drama of the landscape from up high as we hover above the dramatic peaks on the way to Martins Bay.

In the afternoon, we find ourselves deep into the Hollyford region, enjoying a walk along the windswept shores often visited by seals and penguins in season. We then tuck into our welcoming accommodation for the night. Revel in the experience of being truly in the wild as there is no habitation in the area. Before our drive back to Te Anau, we first explore the other-worldly rainforest found on the Hollyford Track which we access after a short boat ride.

Finally, after a hike on the Routeburn Track to Summit Peak, we return to Queenstown where our journey ends, reflecting on the truly unforgettable walking adventures we just had that we have been lucky enough to experience.

Fiordland Crested Penguins

Fiordland Crested Penguins

Fiordland Crested Penguins Long Reef Hollyford Track

Fiordland Crested Penguins at Long Reef on Hollyford Track

Learning and Looking on Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Learning and Looking on Hollyford Track

Little Homer Falls Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Little Homer Falls, Hollyford Track

Long Reef, Martins Bay Hollyford Track Guided Walk

Long Reef, Martins Bay, Hollyford Track

Relaxing with a guide on the Hollyford Track

Relaxing with a guide on the Hollyford Track

Jetboating Upper Hollyford River

Jetboating Upper Hollyford River

Sunset, Martins Bay Beach, Hollyford Track

Sunset, Martins Bay Beach, Hollyford Track

Signposts at Bluff

Signposts at Bluff

Kaka on Stewart Island

Kaka on Stewart Island

Rakiura Track Stewart Island

Rakiura Track, Stewart Island

Stewart Island Sea Lion

Stewart Island Sea Lion

Hiking Stewart Island

Hiking on Stewart Island

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown - Ben Lomond Hike - InvercargillMeals: L,D

After we pick you up from your lodging in Queenstown, we start our adventure with a gondola ride just above the township to get on the trail to Ben Lomond, hiking alpine tussocks and shrubs on our way to the summit. The 360 degree view from the peak of Ben Lomond promises is an inspiring start to our tour, as it puts you in a unique position to enjoy panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu and the Queenstown basin.

After descending, we depart via the rugged Kawarau Gorge, the birthplace of the Bungy jump, to New Zealand's southernmost city, Invercargill, a good base to start our journey to remote Stewart Island the following day. Overnight Invercargill.

Day 2Invercargill - Stewart IslandMeals: B,L,D

This morning we drive a short distance to the windswept coastal town of Bluff. Here, we meet the morning ferry for the one hour (approx) crossing to Stewart Island, off the southern coast. Home to New Zealand's newest national park and the remote community of Oban, we arrive on Stewart Island ready for some walking activity.

After a casual lunch we walk for about 10km (4hrs) on part of the Rakiura Track with lovely coastal views and prominent bird life. We will probably take a water taxi one way and the availability of this will influence the direction and location of our walk.

Arriving back into Oban village late in the afternoon, we have time to check into our accommodation, freshen up and explore the various options on offer for tomorrow. It’s then time to regroup for dinner, the fresh local Blue Cod, or the famous Bluff Oysters are a must try.

Day 3Free Day on Stewart IslandMeals: B

Stewart Island is very diverse environment and today is a free day to allow you to wander as you please.

The activity options range from a visit to the unique predator-free Ulva Island, to sea kayaking the interior coastline around Patterson Inlet, or even a hike on the many coastal walkways, such as the one to Ackers Point lighthouse. Whatever you choose, this will be a magical day in a magnificent location.

Day 4Stewart Island - Te AnauMeals: B,L,D

Departing on the early ferry from Stewart Island back to the mainland, we then travel through small towns and rural landscapes to Te Anau, on the edge of World Heritage Fiordland National Park.

Here you can enjoy a fine walk on one of the lower reaches of the Kepler track, passing through wetlands and mosses and ancient native forests. There are a couple of options for return hikes to remote and secluded bush-clad bays on either Lake Manapouri or Lake Te Anau, the choice will depend on the weather.

This evening we have a briefing on the upcoming Hollyford adventure and enjoy dinner with an air of anticipation for the next couple of days.

Day 5Te Anau - Milford Sound - Hollyford ValleyMeals: B,L,D

Today we drive into the world famous Milford Sound to enjoy a few short walks and stops at points of interest along this incredibly scenic journey.

By late morning we arrive at Milford Sound and prepare to board a helicopter for the truly spectacular flight over the peaks and rugged west coast to Martin's Bay in the Hollyford region.

On arrival we meet our hosts and are treated to a picnic lunch. It’s then time to begin exploring this amazing landscape on foot with a walk through lush forest and coastal heath to a rocky bay. If we are lucky we may spot fur seals and the rare Fjordland Crested Penguin (in season) that inhabit these shores.

Returning to Martin's Bay Lodge by jet boat we enjoy a gourmet meal and relax in cosy accommodation in this very special uninhabited wilderness location.

Day 6Hollyford Valley - Knobs FlatMeals: B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast we journey once again by jet boat up Lake McKerrow to the Hollyford River, the dramatic mountainscapes leaving us in awe of the beauty of this region.

A little further along we leave the boat to commence our 20km hike along the Hollyford Valley, following the footsteps of early explorers through native beech forest speckled with elegantly flowing waterfalls. The undulating track brings us to the trail head, with a lunch stop and interesting interpretation of our surrounds along the way.

After a short drive we arrive at our remote overnight accommodation, Knobs Flat, which puts us in the perfect spot for one final spectacular Fiordland walk the following day.

Day 7Knobs Flat - Routeburn Track to key Summit - QueenstownMeals: B,L

On our final morning we enjoy one more iconic walk, this time along the Routeburn Track to Key Summit, where we can take in sweeping views over the beautiful Hollyford Valley. Along the trail we will have the chance to reflect on a week of exceptional walking experiences with our new found friends before boarding the vehicle for a late afternoon drive back to Queenstown.

Trip arrangements conclude on arrival with a hotel drop-off. We advise not to book any departure flights this evening in case our drive home is delayed for any reason.

Cost per person

November 2017 - April 2018

  • NZ$3,785
  • Single supplement: NZ$345
  • Hollyford Track single supplement: NZ$400
  • Public Holiday Supplement: NZ$50

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown - Ben Lomond Hike - InvercargillMeals: L,D

After we pick you up from your lodging in Queenstown, we start our adventure with a gondola ride just above the township to get on the trail to Ben Lomond, hiking alpine tussocks and shrubs on our way to the summit. The 360 degree view from the peak of Ben Lomond promises is an inspiring start to our tour, as it puts you in a unique position to enjoy panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu and the Queenstown basin.

After descending, we depart via the rugged Kawarau Gorge, the birthplace of the Bungy jump, to New Zealand's southernmost city, Invercargill, a good base to start our journey to remote Stewart Island the following day. Overnight Invercargill.

Day 2Invercargill - Stewart IslandMeals: B,L,D

This morning we drive a short distance to the windswept coastal town of Bluff. Here, we meet the morning ferry for the one hour (approx) crossing to Stewart Island, off the southern coast. Home to New Zealand's newest national park and the remote community of Oban, we arrive on Stewart Island ready for some walking activity.

After a casual lunch we walk for about 10km (4hrs) on part of the Rakiura Track with lovely coastal views and prominent bird life. We will probably take a water taxi one way and the availability of this will influence the direction and location of our walk.

Arriving back into Oban village late in the afternoon, we have time to check into our accommodation, freshen up and explore the various options on offer for tomorrow. It’s then time to regroup for dinner, the fresh local Blue Cod, or the famous Bluff Oysters are a must try.

Day 3Free Day on Stewart IslandMeals: B

Stewart Island is very diverse environment and today is a free day to allow you to wander as you please.

The activity options range from a visit to the unique predator-free Ulva Island, to sea kayaking the interior coastline around Patterson Inlet, or even a hike on the many coastal walkways, such as the one to Ackers Point lighthouse. Whatever you choose, this will be a magical day in a magnificent location.

Day 4Stewart Island - Te AnauMeals: B,L,D

Departing on the early ferry from Stewart Island back to the mainland, we then travel through small towns and rural landscapes to Te Anau, on the edge of World Heritage Fiordland National Park.

Here you can enjoy a fine walk on one of the lower reaches of the Kepler track, passing through wetlands and mosses and ancient native forests. There are a couple of options for return hikes to remote and secluded bush-clad bays on either Lake Manapouri or Lake Te Anau, the choice will depend on the weather.

This evening we have a briefing on the upcoming Hollyford adventure and enjoy dinner with an air of anticipation for the next couple of days.

Day 5Te Anau - Milford Sound - Hollyford ValleyMeals: B,L,D

Today we drive into the world famous Milford Sound to enjoy a few short walks and stops at points of interest along this incredibly scenic journey.

By late morning we arrive at Milford Sound and prepare to board a helicopter for the truly spectacular flight over the peaks and rugged west coast to Martin's Bay in the Hollyford region.

On arrival we meet our hosts and are treated to a picnic lunch. It’s then time to begin exploring this amazing landscape on foot with a walk through lush forest and coastal heath to a rocky bay. If we are lucky we may spot fur seals and the rare Fjordland Crested Penguin (in season) that inhabit these shores.

Returning to Martin's Bay Lodge by jet boat we enjoy a gourmet meal and relax in cosy accommodation in this very special uninhabited wilderness location.

Day 6Hollyford Valley - Knobs FlatMeals: B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast we journey once again by jet boat up Lake McKerrow to the Hollyford River, the dramatic mountainscapes leaving us in awe of the beauty of this region.

A little further along we leave the boat to commence our 20km hike along the Hollyford Valley, following the footsteps of early explorers through native beech forest speckled with elegantly flowing waterfalls. The undulating track brings us to the trail head, with a lunch stop and interesting interpretation of our surrounds along the way.

After a short drive we arrive at our remote overnight accommodation, Knobs Flat, which puts us in the perfect spot for one final spectacular Fiordland walk the following day.

Day 7Knobs Flat - Routeburn Track to key Summit - QueenstownMeals: B,L

On our final morning we enjoy one more iconic walk, this time along the Routeburn Track to Key Summit, where we can take in sweeping views over the beautiful Hollyford Valley. Along the trail we will have the chance to reflect on a week of exceptional walking experiences with our new found friends before boarding the vehicle for a late afternoon drive back to Queenstown.

Trip arrangements conclude on arrival with a hotel drop-off. We advise not to book any departure flights this evening in case our drive home is delayed for any reason.

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