Explore Fiordland: Hike & Cruise

From Queenstown to Queenstown
  • Otago & Alpine Region
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Experience remote Fiordland wilderness in comfort. Our explore Fiordland journey allows you to join a guided hike on the Hollyford track, the perfect combination with an overnight Doubtful Sound cruise. Experience the best of Fiordland from land and sea!

On an all inclusive hiking adventure, we explore the remote Hollyford Valley, with ancient forests full of giant natives, including Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea. As we explore further, the valley opens to coastal wilderness, where upon reaching Martins Bay Spit there is time to enjoy a wild West Coast beach. Hiking with a small group and expert local guide allows you time to soak in the environment, as you learn about the stunning flora and fauna, alongside stories of former times. With meals provided and the comfort of private lodge accommodation with a hot shower at the end of the day, what more could you ask for. The Hollyford track experience is done by foot, with a few full day hikes, as well as a scenic jet boat, and a scenic helicopter flight to really make the most of the vistas. 

Your exploration of remarkable Fiordland continues after relaxing for a night in Te Anau. Continue to Lake Manapouri where you will embark on an overnight navigation of Doubtful Sound. Cruise the fjord of unspoiled Doubtful Sound, on your small vessel modelled along the lines of a traditional scow and full of old world charm.  Modern comforts are not forgotten, twin share cabins include an ensuite,  there is an on-board chef to prepare hearty meals, and spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon with fully licensed bar and an observation lounge.

Cruise through some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery, with time to explore closer either by kayak or tender boat, or even take a swim. Always have your eye out for dolphins, fur seals and rare penguins!

For your convenience, Explore Fiordland is a round trip adventure from Queenstown. 

Viva's Best Bits...

"This journey allows to you explore some lesser visited areas of Fiordland like the Hollyford Track and Doubtful Sound, and best of all, no camping, no carrying heavy loads...your accommodation is comfortable, and scrumptious meals are prepared for you!"

Hollyford Valley is home to breathtaking beech forest and a rich New Zealand history, be one of the lucky few to explore this area...by foot, wilderness jet boat ride, and heli flight, as part of an all inclusive small group guided tour

Look out for the locals - pods of resident dolphins, fur seals and rare penguins as you navigate stunning Doubtful Sound by small ship, tender boat and even kayak!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Queenstown Te Anau

Begin your adventure by travelling from Queenstown to the lakeside town of Te Anau on our private coach to attend a comprehensive pre-departure briefing. Your knowledgeable guides will talk you through all you need to know before setting off, what to include in your hiking pack and the chance to answer any questions you may have.

Visitors located in Queenstown are invited to board our private coach which departs for Te Anau as follows:
3:30pm - The Station Building, Duke Street
4:00pm - Queenstown Airport

The journey will take approximately 2 hours. You will be taken straight to your accommodation at the Distinction Luxmore Hotel, located in Te Anau. Mix and mingle over dinner with your fellow walkers before settling into your hotel room for the evening.

Overnight Distinction Luxmore Hotel, with ensuite and breakfast

Day 2
Te Anau to Pyke Lodge

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before taking our private coach into the remote Hollyford Valley to begin your Wilderness Experience. For this part of the journey, it will be a small group of 16 travellers.

On this first day within the valley you will walk 19.5km exploring hidden waterfalls, wandering through ancient native bush in awe of the plethora of green shades around you. Learn about the unique flora and fauna and hear tales of those who roamed the paths of the Hollyford before you.

Finish the day at Pyke Lodge, nestled beneath Mt. Madeline, where our welcoming lodge hosts and an impressive three-course meal awaits. Celebrate the days achievements over a glass of Central Otago wine or a locally produced craft beer.

Day 3
Pyke Lodge to Martins Bay

Start your day with a plentiful breakfast at Pyke Lodge before heading out on a short walk to Wāwāhi Waka (Lake Alabaster), on your way back stop at the infamous Pyke bridge – the longest swing bridge in Fiordland National park.

Embark by jet boat down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow to the podocarp forest where you’ll encounter thousand year old rimu, kahikatea and totara giants. As you edge closer to the rugged West Coast, ancient forests will transform into coastal gardens, and a bay of boulders where you’ll marvel at the local Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals.

Total duration of hiking today: 16km

Arrive at your home for the night at Martins Bay lodge where your three course meal and toast in celebration of the vast array of vistas encountered today awaits.

Day 4
Martins Bay to Te Anau

After another hearty cooked breakfast you will be ready to embark on your final walking leg of the Hollyford journey, exploring Martins Bay Spit which separates the Hollyford Valley from the Tasman Sea.

Explore the sand dunes and wander along the isolated beach at your own pace, taking in the rugged beauty of the wild West Coast. Return to Martins Bay Lodge to embark on your scenic helicopter flight back through the iconic and dramatic Milford Sound. Marvel at the grandeur of vertical granite cliff faces and breathtaking waterfalls hidden away in the lush native forest.

Upon arrival into Milford Sound, your friendly coach driver will be awaiting to drive you back to Te Anau via the impressive Milford Road.

Evening at leisure to relax, overnight at Distinction Luxmore Hotel

Day 5
Te Anau to Doubtful Sound

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and some time at leisure this morning to relax and prepare for the next stage of your adventure - A Doubtful Sound overnight cruise experience.

Transfer to Manapouri, by vehicle approx. 20 -30 minutes Take a short cruise across Lake Manapouri. A coach then takes you across Wilmot Pass, travelling on a sub-alpine road through dense rainforest. Arriving at Deep Cove you’ll be met by our crew and the majestic Mariner vessel.

Designed along the lines of a traditional scow, the Mariner blends old world charm with modern comforts that include spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon with a fully licensed bar and an observation lounge.

As you cruise through some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery, our knowledgeable nature guides will provide commentary ensuring you miss nothing, be it the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals or rare penguins you might encounter.

After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, you can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat – or to simply relax on board. For the adventurous (or very brave), there’s even a chance to go swimming. All activities are weather dependent.

In the evening, you’ll enjoy a delicious three-course buffet dinner prepared by our on-board chef and served in the dining saloon. Mingle with fellow travellers, savour some of the fine wines at our licensed bar and if the skies are clear in the evening, spend some time on the upper deck gazing at the stars.

Overnight in a private cabin with ensuite onboard the Fiordland Mariner

Day 6
Doubtful Sound Queenstown

Kick off the next day with a hearty cooked breakfast menu and get ready to enjoy the rest of the morning exploring other parts of the fjord. Finally, you’ll return to Deep Cove, the trip back to Manapouri and many, many conversations telling friends just how amazing your trip was. Arrival into Manapuri at 12 noon and transfer by road to Queenstown

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 2 nights hotel accommodation in Te Anau, with ensuite
  • Included Copy 20 2 nights private lodges with twin share bunk style bedrooms, shared bathrooms, hot showers
  • Included Copy 20 1 night private cabin with ensuite onboard cruise vessel
  • Included Copy 31 Single room options available (supplement)
  • Included Copy 20 Daily breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Included Copy 31 Additional beverages
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All transfers to/ from Queenstown
  • Included Copy 20 Use of backpacks, daypacks, rain jackets and walking poles while hiking Hollyford track
  • Included Copy 20 Wilderness jet boat journey down the Hollyford river and across Lake McKerrow
  • Included Copy 20 Scenic heli flight into Milford Sound
  • Included Copy 20 Friendly, knowledgeable, professional guides
  • Included Copy 20 Kayaking and tendercraft (small boat) activities in Doubtful Sound
  • Included Copy 20 Doubtful Sound navigation

Fiordland Mariner


  • Included Explore remote wilderness areas in Fiordland by foot and by water
  • Included Milford Sound scenic heli flight
  • Included Witness ancient forests, look out for fur seas, dolphins and rare penguins
  • Included Guided hike of the spectacular Hollyford Valley
  • Included Scenic jet boat ride in the wilderness
  • Included Cruise Doubtful Sound, explore in depth by kayak or tender boat
Click here for dates & prices

6 days

Price from

$2,389 USD

Per person, sharing

including G.S.T

Limited availability left, operates from December - April