Fiordland, Hollyford and Stewart Island Trails
From 26/01/2022 to 24/03/2023
Hike to magical viewpoints on Ben Lomond, above Queenstown.
Visit Stewart Island to see the bird life and maybe spot a Kiwi.
Trek in Fiordland with spectacular viewpoints and towering rocky walls.
Enjoy a magical helicopter ride over Milford Sound to the secluded Martins Bay.
Indulge in a luxury lodge in a serene remote environment.
Experience the magnificence of the remote Hollyford wilderness.
Hike small sections of the iconic Routeburn, Kepler and Rakiura Tracks.
6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners5 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis1 night exclusive use of Martin's Bay private lodge (shared bathroom)Professional qualified driver/guidePrivate vehicle transportFerry to and from Stewart IslandHelicopter over Milford Sound into Martin's Bay (Hollyford)Packs and walking poles (on request if required) - please let our staff know in advanceWater and snacks while trekkingAccess and concession fees paid to the Department of ConservationIf you are travelling alone, we will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge.
If you prefer not to share, a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room.
Please refer to our website for the additional cost.
The accommodation for this trip has been carefully selected to provide comfort and value in the best locations possible.
The accommodation is on a twin share or double room basis mostly with private facilities.
At Martin's Bay (Hollyford) bedrooms have bunk beds (2 beds per room, one above the other so one person will need to climb up to it.
) and bathrooms are shared.
If you wish to reserve a room to yourself at Martin's Bay the extra cost is NZ$595, this is additional to the single supplement.
Please note: although every endeavour is made to stay at the accommodation detailed in the itinerary, occasionally, due to seasonal shortages, we need to use other accommodation of a similar standard.
Group Size: 6 - 14.
Day 1 - Ben Lomond Hike above Queenstown, to Invercargill This morning we collect you from a central location in Queenstown and start our adventure with a nearby mountain hike. We take the gondola above the township and then access the walking track to Ben Lomond, slowly meandering our way to a highpoint lookout. With the amazing views over Lake Wakitipu and the Queenstown basin this is an inspiring start to this fantastic walking trip. 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 2 - Transfer to Stewart Island, guided walks 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 3 - Free day on Stewart Island 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 4 - To Te Anau, walks in Fiordland National Park 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 Fjordland 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 5 - Walks in Milford Sound, helicopter to Hollyford region 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 6 - Hollyford Valley hike (20km), transfer to Te Anau 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. We then drive to our accommodation back in Te Anau, and meet again in the evening for our final dinner.
Day 7 - Hike along Routeburn Track to Key Summits, return to Queenstown 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 with a drop off in central Queenstown. We advise not to book any departure flights this evening in case our drive home is delayed for any reason.
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