The Hollyford Track – Guided or Independent?

NTT HollyFord Hero KS 9688 RGB copy
NTT HollyFord Hero KS 9688 RGB copy

Stretching for 56 kilometres from the rugged peaks of the Darran Mountains in Fiordland National Park to pristine Martins Bay on the West Coast, the Hollyford Track captures the raw natural beauty of Aotearoa. While the scenery is always spectacular, how you hike will have a big impact on your Hollyford Track experience. To help you decide, here’s a rundown of both options:

Walking the Hollyford Track independently

DOC describes the Hollyford Track as an ‘advanced tramping track’ meaning it’s not an endeavour to take lightly. While the track is well-maintained and relatively flat, the setting is remote and you’ll need to carry everything you need in a backpack, including camping gear, clothes, food, water and a medical kit.

The 56-kilometre loop track takes between four to eight days to hike, depending on your fitness level, preferred pace and whether you’re completing a one way or return journey. DOC huts provide shelter, though you’ll need to camp in a tent if they’re full.

As an independent hiker you’ll also need to organise transport from Te Anau, a two-hour drive from the trailhead. The final verdict? Walking the Hollyford Track independently is incredibly rewarding, though you will need to put the time and effort into making the right preparations to ensure your journey is safe and successful.

Walking the Hollyford Track on a guided 3 Day Wilderness Experience

While it’s possible to walk the Hollyford Track independently, the remote location makes logistics challenging. Cue the Hollyford Track 3 Day Wilderness Experience. Combining the best sections of the track with jet boat and helicopter transfers, the guided tour covers 43 kilometres of ground over three days. Geared towards keen ramblers and beginners alike, the experience combines the thrill of a multiday adventure with luxuries of a guided wilderness trek.

You’ll end each day at private lodges featuring bunk-style accommodation, cosy common areas and lashings of ambience. Perfect for trailblazers who want to venture off the beaten track, without compromising on comfort. After a long day on the track, there’s nothing better than taking a steaming hot shower, sipping Central Otago Pinot Noir by the fireplace and chatting to your fellow hikers. Sate your appetite with chef-inspired three course meals, full cooked breakfasts, protein-heavy packed lunches and an endless supply of snacks. Vegetarian, vegan or gluten free? No problem

While every moment is a highlight, here are some moments that are guaranteed to stick in your mind:

  • Ending your trip with a spectacular scenic helicopter flight from Martins Bay to Milford Sound
  • Enriching commentary and insight on flora, fauna and local history from your guides
  • Savouring hot drinks and antipasto platters upon arrival at the lodges
  • Enjoying an invigorating sleep in a comfortable bed, complete with a hot water bottle

You’ll love the freedom to travel light with a small day pack to carry a change of clothes and personal toiletries. Transport is a cinch, with your guided hike including a return coach from Te Anau or Queenstown.

Daydreaming about your next adventure? Hollyford Track is currently offering a special accommodation offer for April 2020 trips – book two people on the 3 Day Wilderness Experience and receive a free night’s accommodation in Te Anau.