New Zealand: Hollyford Track: Fiordland National Park
Together Queenstown, set beside Lake Wakatipu, and the wild landscape of Fiordland National Park offers some of New Zealand’s most striking scenery and exciting opportunities for adventurous travelers.
On arrival in Queenstown, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your luxury boutique hotel, enjoying an adventure tour of Queenstown en route. Queenstown, famous for its spectacular Alpine scenery, offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor adventures, and a gorgeous haven to relax at the end of the day.
Visit the Shotover Jet, the World’s most exciting Jet Boat ride. This is a thrilling thirty-minute jet boat ride you will never forget! The Shotover Canyon wall towers overhead as your driver skillfully whips the boat past rocky outcrops, and skims over crags and boulders.
Next stop is the Kawarau Bridge Bungy. Take a leap off the bridge where it all began. A.J. Hackett, a New Zealander who became a worldwide cult hero after jumping off the Eiffel Tower on a bungy rope, was the first person to develop bungy jumping commercially. You will have the option to discover for yourself why this site is the most popular bungy spot in the world. The most daring jumpers have the opportunity to touch the crystal waters below.
Take the Skyline Gondola cable car ride to Bob’s Peak where you will have spectacular views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Here you may choose an optional paraglide. Your paraglide flight takes you over a pine forest, practically skimming the top of the tall pine trees, the ground then drops dramatically away exposing you to 2500 feet of breathtaking views beneath you. A great welcome to the adventure capital!
At the conclusion of your exciting afternoon, you will be transferred to your hotel for check in. This boutique property is centrally located, yet surrounded by parklands with magnificent views of the city’s mountain backdrop.
This afternoon at 5:30pm, attend your pre-departure briefing for the Hollyford Track. This is a chance for you to meet your guide and fellow walkers (maximum of 16 people). Your guide will explain the detailed Hollyford Track itinerary for the next three unforgettable days.
For dinner this evening, we recommend a fantastic waterfront restaurant and wine bar, located on the lakefront, which specializes in seafood and central Otago wines.
This morning (approximately 6:30am), you will be collected from the hotel and transferred to the start of the Hollyford Track by coach (Private transfer available at an additional cost.). Here you will meet the group and start the hike. Retrace the footsteps of early explorers along the Hollyford River to Pyke Lodge. The drive to the start of the track from Queenstown is approximately 4 hours, with a morning tea stop in Te Anau.
As the Track undulates gently through native beech forest and beside tumbling waterfalls, enjoy interesting historical tales and interpretations of the forest and bird life. The highlights include native forest, Alpine views, crystalline rivers and waterfalls.
In the evening you have the chance to visit the nearby glow-worm colony.
Walking Distance: Approximately 17 kms (11 miles).
Begin your day with a short walk to Lake Alabaster, where you will learn about the history and geology of the area in the midst of stunning surroundings.
Cross Fiordland’s longest swing bridge and then enjoy a captivating jet boat journey down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow to the historic site of Jamestown, the intended capital of the South Island in the late 19th century. Walk through the ancient Podocarp forest (New Zealand native pines) with huge Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea trees wrapped in massive Rata vines.
Your final visit today is to the fur seal colony at Long Reef, on the wild West Coast. You may see the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.
The highlights for today include pristine lakes, wilderness jet boat, pioneer historic sites, 1000- year old native forest and a New Zealand fur seal colony!
Spend the night at Martin’s Bay Lodge.
Walking Distance: Approximately 12 kms (7 miles).
After another hearty breakfast, explore Martin’s Bay Spit, a famous landmark separating the powerful Tasman Sea from the Hollyford Valley, and a coastal landscape that is a world away from the previous days.
View historical sites of Maori occupation of the area where chief Tutoko and his people guarded entry into the Hollyford Valley, controlling access into and out of a highly valued pounamu (greenstone/jade) gathering area. Learn about the plant, sea and wildlife of this unique environment which is surprisingly diverse and truly remote.
Return to Martin’s Bay Lodge for lunch to prepare for your scenic flight to Milford Sound, offering views of the Track route, Hollyford Valley and Mt Tutoko, Fiordland’s highest peak.
At the conclusion of the flight you will be transferred 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 journey back to Queenstown. The return drive is also by coach and takes approximately 4 hours (arriving approximately 7:00pm).
Walking Distance: Approximately 8 km (5 miles).
For dinner this evening we recommend you dine at Botswana Butchery. Botswana has al fresco dining overlooking the lake, and a private upstairs bar, with warming open fires throughout. The atmosphere and their large climate controlled wine cellar will make it a great evening out.
This morning you will be transferred to Queenstown Airport by private vehicle in time for your departure flight, or continue on to your next Willing Foot destination.
This is just the beginning.
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