Your Hollyford Track Independent Walk Questions Answered!

28 Jan 2016

Are you planning to tramp the full Hollyford Track indepdently? All the answers to our commonly asked questions are here, so have a read and make you hiking plans happen.

Do I need to book? The Hollyford Track does not have a booking system as such (unlike the Great Walks) however you will need to buy hut tickets from the Department of Conservation (DOC).  As there is no booking system there is no guarantee of a bed!  You can take a tent or fly, or a bed roll to use on the floor if the bunks are full.  You will need to purchase a ‘serviced hut’ ticket each night, these cost NZD $15 per adult, per night.

You do need to book your transport.  We only operate when we have bookings. For details see our Hollyford Track Transport page!

Do I need to take gas to cook with? Yes, you need to provide all your own equipment including cookers and gas.

Can I carry gas on the plane or helicopter?Yes this is fine as they do not have pressurised cabins.

Can I travel on my own?   You can travel on your own however we require a minimum of 2 people for transport.  If you’re travelling on your own ask us about the dates you are interested in as we may already have bookings or are able to offer another option.  We only take single bookings for our option 1, that is with all transport from Te Anau and flight into Martins Bay from Milford Sound.

What if it rains?  Easy, you’ll get wet!  The chances are you will have rain at some stage on your trip and you must be prepared with waterproof rain coat at the very least.  The jet boat and helicopter will still most likely operate, the plane might operate, and we will operate (as long as the Milford and Hollyford Roads are open).  The Hollyford Track does flood in places during heavy rain.  Never risk crossing any stream or river when it is in flood.  Don’t worry about rushing to meet planes or buses, we keep a close eye on the weather and if there has been a weather event we will consider the possibility you have been delayed.

Hollyford trampers website

Wet, happy trampers!

What if I don’t turn up for my plane or bus? We take this on a case-by-case basis.  If there has been very bad weather we will consider whether or not you may have waited it out at a hut.  If we are meeting you at the Road end we will come back the next day.  If we are concerned at all for your safety we will contact the police, however we do not take responsibility for your intentions – you need to leave them with a friend/relative.  If you manage to get out early or hitch a lift, PLEASE contact us as soon as you are able.  There is an email service at the Hollyford Camp and they will email us, or phone when you return to Te Anau. 

What if my plane doesn’t turn up? Then it has been delayed due to weather.  If the weather clears then it may come in the afternoon, otherwise it will be the following day or the day after....  We figure that if you’re savvy enough to go tramping in Fiordland you should be able to figure out what the weather is doing and make an educated guess.  However don’t assume a plane is not coming just because it is wet or windy, you must still show up to the airstrip as booked.  If you do not it will be considered a no-show and you will be charged accordingly.  We will try to get a message to you via the Hollyford Guided Walks hut, but they will come to find you.

What airstrip do you fly into? For those that do their homework you will notice there are 2 airstrips at Martins Bay.  We fly to the airstrip closest to the Hollyford Guided Walks hut.  If you are flying out of the bay please wait at the opposite end from the Guided Walks hut, thank you! We will send a map when we confirm your booking.

Crossing either a swing bridge or three wire bridge is part of the Hollyford experience

Crossing either a swing bridge or three wire bridge is part of the Hollyford experience

Can I stay at Hidden Falls Hut?  Of course!  You can stay at any hut (don’t forget your hut tickets), you just need to plan your trip accordingly and consider if you are ok with doing longer days to make a shorter trip.

Is the Demon Trail really that bad? Although there is no vertical gain along this section of track it is rocky and rough underfoot, and goes up and down out of little streams so you do still feel like you’re getting a decent work out!  There are three-wire bridges so you need a head for heights over fast water and confidence on your feet.  It can certainly live up to its name during or after bad weather.  Whatever the weather don’t underestimate it. 

Do I have to stay at Martins Bay? No you don’t – but we think you should spend at least some time there.  Some people choose not to stay at Martins Bay due to time restraints.  If you fly in you can spend some time at Martins Bay before heading to Hokuri Hut – this is still a very manageable day if you can fly early enough.  If you are flying out the only option for you to see Martins Bay is to spend the night at the Hut. 

I want to be collected from the Hollyford Road End and taken to Milford Sound, can you do this?  Sorry no, our time table doesn't allow for this detour in the morning we only go from Milford to the Hollyford Road End in the afternoon.  Unfortunately there are no services that offer this (either with us or any other company). We recommend you stick to one of our options for the most reliable and best value service, otherwise you will find yourself struggling with the logistics!

How many days should I take to walk the track? Our blog titled Independent Guide to Hiking the Hollyford Track outline our recommendations, but you might come up with something different! There is no right or wrong way and with the Hollyford Track you can choose.

Flying over Milford Sound is a highlight of this transport option

Flying over Milford Sound is a great way to start of finish your hike

For more information see the DOC Website link here.



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