3-Day Hollyford Track Guided Walk with Scenic Helicopter Flight

Tour description provided by Viator

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.

What's included

  • 3-day guided walk
  • Use of backpacks and rain jackets, if you don’t have your own
  • Specialist guide
  • 2 nights lodge accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary (b=breakfast, l=lunch, d=dinner)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Bedding, towels, soap, shampoo and hairdryers
  • 2 jet boat trips
  • Milford sound helicopter flight
  • Round-trip coach transfer from queenstown or te anau

What isn't included

  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Gratuities (optional)

Itinerary

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.