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Hollyford 3 Day Wilderness Journey

3 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,749

If there is one experience that delivers the diversity and very essence of New Zealand’s vast wilderness it is without a doubt a guided nature walk through the Hollyford Valley.

This trek covers 29km over 3 days and is accessible to most reasonably fit travellers. You’ll visit beautiful Lake Wakatipu before retracing the steps of early explorers past picturesque waterfalls, along the Hollyford River to Pyke River Lodge. Visit the nearby glowworm colony after dark. Enjoy a spectacular walk over Fiordland’s longest swing bridge at Lake Alabaster, before catching a jetboat down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKarrow to Martins Bay, home to a 1000 year old Podocarp forest. Overnight stays at two of Fiordland’s finest lodges will relax and rejuvenate you along the way.


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3 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,749


Day 1

Hollyford Track to Pyke Lodge

Discover some of New Zealand's most beautiful lakes and glacial valleys, dwarfed by majestic mountains at the start at the Hollyford Track. Parking at the start of the track we put on our packs and start our 19.5km/12.1 mile 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/9009ft) and Mt Madeline (2537m/8323ft).

You'll retrace the footsteps of original Maori 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.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Day 2

Pyke Lodge to Martins Bay Lodge

As the morning sun shines over the mountains, a delicious breakfast puts everyone on track, ready for the mystical forest, glistening Lake Alabaster and the optional crossing of one of Fiordland's longest swing bridges. Today we cover 15km/9.3miles by foot and your main pack will be transported to Martins Bay Lodge while you carry a smaller day pack (provided) 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Martins Bay Lodge to end of Hollyford Track

After another hearty breakfast you'll be ready for your final 8.5km/5.3 mile walk, exploring Martins Bay Spit, a famous landmark separating the powerful Tasman Sea from the Hollyford Valley. 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 your final destination.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Other Information


Frequent departures from late October to the end of April each year.


  • 2 nights' accommodation
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Return coach transport to Te Anau
  • Backpacks, rain jackets and poles
  • Experienced guide
  • Scenic flight to Milford Sound
  • Jet Boat journey
  • Bedding, towels, shampoo, soap, hairdryers


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

19 Apr 2022
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