The Hollyford Track start point is around 20 minutes’ drive from Milford Sound; the track is most commonly walked from East to West, and follows the Hollyford River on its journey to the Tasman Sea on New Zealand’s West Coast. It’s a less popular walking track than the Milford or Routeburn Track, and therefore is a more remote and raw wilderness experience for many. Your expert nature guide will point out interesting (and sometimes edible!) flora, and talk about the local wildlife too.

Hike Hollyford Track Martins Bay Sandspit

The Hollyford Track at a glance:

  • Starts at the Lower Hollyford Road end near Milford Sound, and ends at Martins Bay on the West Coast.
  • 56km long (34.8 miles) A to B track.
  • Typically takes four to five days to complete.

What we’ll do:

  • Martins Bay Lodge to Long Reef Point Seal and Penguin Colony
  • Jamestown to Martins Bay Lodge.

Hollyford Track Day Walk Map:

Which trips include the Hollyford Track day walks?

Elegant South – 11 days, Nelson to Queenstown.

Where is the Hollyford Track?

The Hollyford Track is in Fiordland National Park; the track starts at the Lower Hollyford Road end, around 20 minutes drive from Milford Sound itself. Unlike other A to B walks, and particularly Great Walks that are A to B tracks, the end point of the Hollyford Track, on the West Coast at Martins Bay, is not a serviced pickup point. Whilst that might seem, on the surface, to be very inconvenient, it allows the Hollyford Track to remain rugged, and isolated, and feel mysteriously ancient as you walk amongst its beech forest.

The Hollyford River flows out to the Tasman Sea at Martins Bay, the track’s end point, and close by is the New Zealand fur seal colony at Long Reef Point. You can also see Fiordland crested penguins in the area at the right time of year, and the area’s isolation only makes this experience all the more special.

What’s so special about the Hollyford Track?

The Hollyford Track is just as beautiful as the Great Walks in the area, it has pristine beech forest, giant lakes, striking blue rivers, and extensive bird life. Another attractive trait of the Hollyford Track is its lack of any tough changes in elevation. The highest point of the track is Little Homer Saddle at 168m above sea level – in comparison to the Milford, Routeburn, or Kepler, the popular Great Walks in the area, this makes the Hollyford a far more attractive proposition for those not looking for a particularly physically demanding hiking route.

As soon as our helicopter lands at Martins Bay we’ll enjoy lunch in a big safari-style tent, then grab our water bottles and a warm layer from our bags and leave the rest behind (they’ll be transferred to our accommodation for us!). We’ll set out for a walk to Long Reef Point where we’ll observe a colony of New Zealand fur seals, and at the right time of year, Fiordland crested penguins. It’s amazing to see these creatures in their natural environment, and with nobody but our group around!

When we arrive at Martins Bay Lodge prepare to be amazed. The beautiful lodge is as secluded as it gets, and is home to our lodge hosts for the evening. The comfortable sofas of the living area give views through the giant windows to the lawn, and beyond, to the banks of the Hollyford River. It’s the perfect setting for a glass of wine and a pre-dinner cheeseboard. After a delicious meal cooked by your lodge hosts, we’ll sleep in our cosy lodge rooms, and awake ready for another day of exploring the wilderness.

In the morning, having eaten breakfast and waved goodbye to our lodge hosts (for now!), we’ll board a jet boat on the Hollyford River and travel up Lake McKerrow, disembarking at Jamestown, where our morning walk begins. The unspoiled beech forest, well maintained tracks, and endless birdsong make the walk the perfect tonic – whether you’re escaping a busy working life back home, or enjoying new experiences in retirement. We’ll arrive back at Martins Bay Lodge to enjoy an indulgent morning tea with our hosts, before boarding our helicopter back to Milford Sound. We’ll arrive at the bus having exercised, explored, and eaten, and we’ll be elated at the exclusivity of our tailored Hollyford experience.

Mia Gordon
22:28 22 Jul 18
I went on an 8 day tour with these guys and I thought I had already seen the best of New Zealand. I was wrong! Stunning, absolutely stunning scenery and the nicest guides. Their hospitality and professionalism was unparalleled and we got to see parts of New Zealand I had not seen. I am a Kiwi who was an avid hiker and adventure seeker growing up and in my twenties. I am in my forties now and I got to experience the best of NZ with my daughter which was awesome! Highly recommend New Zealand Walking Tours for anyone who loves being immersed in the most breathtakingly beautiful places on the planet with the nicest people guiding more
jeanne costello
22:31 15 Feb 18
Our New Zealand Walking Tour was absolutely fantastic and our best tour ever. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and fun and took complete care of us, including making some wonderful picnic lunches and an amazing Christmas dinner. The places we visited were highlights on the South Island and we were able to hike, do a couple of boat tours, visit other interesting sites, and stay in some great places. This tour was the perfect combination of activities and I can't recommend it highly enough. A once in a lifetime adventure!read more
Roxanne Theriault
05:27 02 Nov 17
Amazing company, everything is top notch and they take care of you from start to finish! Always friendly, helpful, personable and professional - what kiwi hospitality is so famous for! You won't regret going on a walking tour with these folks and you'll definitely be planning your next trip, once you're back home! Highly recommend!read more
Miriam Houliston
05:19 02 Nov 17
Paul McDonald
21:13 30 Oct 17
I wanted to find a guiding company based in in New Zealand, with local guides. When I found out that New Zealand Walking Tours is part of the Active Adventures family, I was super confident to go ahead and arrange my trip. Exploring the Abel Tasman National Park by day and Awaroa Lodge by night was a massive highlight! I'll be back for more
Will Appelman
21:07 30 Oct 17
My wife and I are avid hikers, and New Zealand Walking Tours gave us the chance to explore a wide variety of New Zealand’s hiking trails – including amazing sections of the 9 Great Walks, and be rewarded with accommodations that are a step ahead of the competition, delicious locally sourced food and a tipple of New Zealand's finest local wine! But on our free day in Queenstown we met loads of local ‘Kiwis’ who hadn’t even heard of some of the trails we hiked along the way – it actually made us feel like the locals! In the same time it would have taken us to hike the Milford Track from start to finish (like we planned) we hiked an amazing section of the famous track, while also taking a boat cruise on Milford Sound and getting flown by helicopter from Milford Sound to the most incredible and isolated luxury lodge in the Hollyford. We then jet boated out across a lake before a beautiful walk back to civilisation on the Hollyford Track. Before our trip, Fiona worked out exactly the perfect trip to suit what we were looking for, and Lynette was an amazing help getting us ready to depart - making sure we packed everything we need, and not so much of what we didn't need. Highly recommended!read more
Joe Sutheran
20:52 30 Oct 17
I had a great time in New Zealand with my parents, travelling with New Zealand Walking Tours. I know my parents were so happy they found this company, the activity level was spot on for them, and accommodations, food etc was never less than outstanding. I didn't have much to do with the company pre-trip, but I know my parents were extremely impressed with the communications, and preparation advice from the team behind the scenes. What I can say is that when it came to the trip itself, the guides were just a joy to be around, extremely enthusiastic, interested in their guests, and very knowledgeable. Being a bit younger than much of the group, I was a little apprehensive that I might not enjoy it, but I don't know what I was worried about! Spending time getting to know the others on the trip, as well as the guides, was a delight - but what meant the most to me was spending time with my parents without the burden of the 'real world' on any of us, just enjoying the moment and each other's company. Thank you New Zealand Walking Tours for showing us the best of your stunningly beautiful country, and giving all three of us happy memories we'll never more
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Hollyford Track Guide Walk Guide

Guide Miki talking about the flora of the Hollyford Track

Hollyford Track Martins Bay Lodge night sky

The night sky and Martins Bay Lodge

Hollyford Track Martins Bay Lodge

Arriving at Martins Bay Lodge and meeting our lodge hosts.

Hollyford Track start point hollyford road end

The traditional start point of the Hollyford Track, at Hollyford Road End.

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