Hollyford Track set to reopen for summer

Ngāi Tahu Tourism’s three-day wilderness experience on the Hollyford Track in Fiordland is set to reopen in January 2021.

The guided experience, run by Guided Walks New Zealand, was closed early in February due to unprecedented heavy rain and flooding that damaged the two private lodges on the track. It was then one of Ngāi Tahu Tourism businesses that were paused due to the significant impacts of COVID-19.

Ngāi Tahu Holdings Chief Executive Mike Pohio says he is delighted that extensive lodge repair work, which was delayed by the lockdown, and domestic travel demand mean that manuhiri can soon enjoy the spectacular Hollyford Valley once again.

“Pyke and Martins Bay Lodges are both undergoing a full refurbishment and will be ready to host manuhiri again from 2 January to 28 March.

“We are delighted that there is also growing demand from New Zealanders being able to and wanting to explore Aotearoa.”

Mr Pohio says that restarting the experience will mean that up to 10 additional kaimahi can be employed until the end of the season.

Hollyford Track spokesperson Adam Dooney says spaces are already filling up due to the previous season – which was the business’ 50th season – being cut short by the flooding.

“The Hollyford Track experience has always been popular with Kiwis who are keen to get out into our stunning, rugged wilderness, but still have the comforts of hot showers and three-course dinners at the end of the day.

“We are seeing Kiwis maximising the opportunity to tick off some adventures in their own backyard – and we’re thrilled we can now add the Hollyford Track to this list.”

The three-day guided walk includes a jet boat ride along the Ōkare/Whakatipu-ka-tuku (Hollyford River) and a scenic helicopter flight into the spectacular Piopiotahi (Milford Sound).

Four other Ngāi Tahu Tourism businesses have been realigned to cater for the domestic market while the country’s borders remain shut – Hukafalls Jet in Taupō reopened in late May, while Queenstown’s Shotover Jet reopens on 3 July, and Franz Josef Glacier heli hikes resume on 4 July.

Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters in Queenstown has remained open.

Ngāi Tahu Holdings continues to assess conditions for the remaining Tourism businesses that are temporarily closed.

Hollyford Track bookings can be made by emailing [email protected] or calling (03) 442 3000. The adult rate is $2295 per person, which includes two nights’ accommodation, all meals and transport by jet boat and helicopter. Hollyford Track is offering a ‘book 6’ promotion with a 20% discount across the group for bookings of six or more people made before 30 July 2020 and for travel on any date.