Long, but mostly flat, the Hollyford Track (56km; 3–4 days one-way) runs from the end of the Hollyford Valley road to Martins Bay following Fiordland’s longest valley. It is essentially a fiord that never quite formed and was never flooded by the sea.

The joy of the Hollyford is not in the sense of achievement that comes from scaling alpine passes, but in the appreciation of the dramatic mountain scenery and the kahikatea, rimu and matai bush with an understorey of wineberry, fuchsia and fern. At Martins Bay, Long Reef has a resident fur seal colony, and from September to December you might spot rare Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki) nesting among the scrub and rocks.

The track is a one-way tramp, requiring three to four days’ backtracking – unless you’re flash enough to fly out from the airstrip at Martins Bay or tough enough to continue around a long, difficult and remote loop known as the Pyke–Big Bay Route (9–10 days total; consult DOC’s Pyke–Big Bay Route leaflet for details).

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