The Hollyford Track guided walk business is starting this season on a high, building on the successes of last year.

The Hollyford 3 Day Wilderness Journey came close to doubling numbers on the walk for the 2004/2005 season over the previous year’s figures.

With the 2005/2006 season about to get underway in late October, forward bookings are again looking extremely positive for the spectacular walk from the mountains to the sea.

The company re-launched in 2004 with the Hollyford 3 Day Wilderness Journey package that was easy to understand and tailored to the customer.

“The Hollyford Track guided walk has developed huge appeal for people who want a unique and diverse interactive New Zealand wilderness experience without the crowds and congestion found on other popular tracks and walks,” said marketing manager Dzin Wilson.

Billed as a walk in ‘the most beautiful valley in New Zealand’, the Hollyford 3 Day Wilderness Journey is suitable for a wide range of fitness levels and takes in snow capped mountains, glaciers, rainforests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, reefs, sand dunes and wild West Coast surf.

In late 2004 a brand new lodge was built at Martins Bay to replace the existing guided walk lodge. It includes a lounge, dining room, kitchen and stores area, capable of catering for up to sixteen guests at a time and reflecting the quality accommodation already available at Pyke River Lodge.

Over the past six years the company is proud of a record that has seen it receive a 100% recommendation rate and 98% satisfaction rate from clients.

The Hollyford Track guided walks experience is diverse, including hiking, wildlife, a fantastic diversity of flora, historical interpretation from knowledgeable guides, jet boating and an inspiring scenic flight to Milford Sound.

Day One includes travel through the majestic Eglington Valley to the start of the track in the Hollyford Valley, visiting the fascinating Gunn’s Camp museum on the way. That’s followed by an undulating 17km walk re-tracing the footsteps of early explorers along the Hollyford River to Pyke River Lodge.

Guides on the walk are full of stories about the history of the area, and knowledgeable about the forest and birdlife as the track passes through native beech forest and beside waterfalls.

Day Two begins with a short walk to beautiful Lake Alabaster, a fun crossing of Fiordland’s longest swing bridge, then a captivating Jet Boat journey down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow to the historic site of Jamestown, originally intended to be the capital of the South Island. The walk to Martins Bay Lodge is fascinating, passing through ancient Podocarp forest with huge Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea trees wrapped in massive Rata vines.

Day Three includes a visit to the fur seal colony at Long Reef, looking out for the rare Fiordland crested penguin. A jet boat trip to Martins Bay beach enables people to explore the sand dunes and lagoon, then a scenic flight to Milford Sound includes views of Mt Tutoko, Fiordland’s highest peak.

Customers who fly into Milford have the option of an afternoon cruise on in Milford Sound and an overnight stay in Te Anau, or a night at Milford Sound on the Milford Mariner. Both options are at additional cost.

Further information is available on the website www.hollyfordtrack.com