Hollyford Expedition

Focus: An Epic and Challenging Adventure into Remote Wilderness.

The Hollyford Expedition

Join us on an exclusive and unique journey to the end of the world and back. This 7-day expedition includes 3 days of best-in-class packrafting training plus 4 days of remote wilderness immersion. Paddle down pristine and clean rivers under the shadows of giant mountains, and across lakes steeped in the history of civilisation building. Walk along a rugged and wild coastline, across untouched beaches, and through lush native New Zealand Bush. This is the holy grail of New Zealand Packrafting!

Is this Expedition for me?

  • Is this Expedition for me? Well, do you–
    • Love pushing yourself?
    • Have a good degree of fitness?
    • Feel confident in and around water?
    • Think you can live without your phone for a week?
    • Love the idea of carrying a loaded (~15-20 kg) pack?
    • Feel stoked about occasionally being wet, cold, and muddy?

    If you have answered YES to all of these questions, then welcome aboard! If not…maybe you should start with one of our other products! 

The Route

The important things to know

Expedition Cost per person: Nz$3000 / per participant

Most of our trips run from Nov to March with the option to organise custom trips outside of those months (minimum participant numbers apply )

In this expedition, almost everything is included.

  • All specialized packrafting gear (boats, paddles, PFDs, etc)
  • Accommodation nights before and after the expedition
    • Transport from Te Anau to our base complimentary
  • Breakfast and Dinner during the 4-day expedition
  • One pre-trip barbeque (night before expedition)
  • 3-day packrafting training course
  • Personal clothing, etc
  • Lunches (there is a grocery store in Te Anau for supplies and ‘on the go’ snacks)
  • Meals during the 3 day training course
  • Post Trip dinner

Because this is a challenging trip and conditions in Fiordland can change rapidly, even when forecasts are favorable, you will need to be reasonably fit and possess moderate to high water confidence in order to safely enjoy this experience.

For a bit more guidance on the required levels see our Info Pdf and we will go through it on in our online meeting.

  • This expedition is best suited for reasonably fit adults or older teens wanting to experience the packrafting expedition lifestyle first-hand in one of the most stunning environments imaginable!
  • All participants should be strong and capable enough to handle their own Packraft efficiently.
  • Suitable for confident outdoors people with some paddling experience

We’ve been in the industry for a while and we’ve noticed that sometimes there is a disconnect between what we’re offering and what people think they are getting. The idea of ‘adventure’, especially in the tourism space, has been pretty watered down. Our trips–at least those that require a short face-to-face catchup, are actual adventures. Whether guided or unguided, they demand a certain level of fitness and resilience from participants to be both enjoyable and safe.  While we can (and do) simply outline this in our written material, trip descriptions, etc, we’ve found that unfortunately this often fails to land as it needs to. In some cases, people don’t even seem to be aware of what they’ve signed up and paid for!

In an effort to make sure that our trips are a good fit–to give us (and you!) confidence that at the end of the trip, you’ll be not just exhausted, but smiling too–we reckoned a quick face-to-face does wonders. 

So there you go–that’s why we put faces to names. You’re a person, a partner in these trips–not just a client. We like to know who we’re dealing with, and want you to feel comfortable with who you’re dealing with too! We look forward to meeting you!

–The Packrafting NZ team.

  • You are staying with us in our Packrafting NZ Eco Village – basic, glamping-styled tenting, shared facilities, and epic views. Available for the training days and once we are back out of the bush
  • Our Eco Tent site has very basic cooking facilities with USB charging stations for your mobile phone. Usually, you share a 4-meter bell tent with someone else

  • There is also a composting toilet and a basic shower available.

  • Everything here works on solar power and is as environmentally friendly as we can.

Arno, Owner of packrafting nz

When I first paddled the loop back in 2014 I didn’t realize that it would quickly become one of the worlds best packrafting loops. I have been back more than 50 times and it still awes me every single time.

Arno, Owner of packrafting nz

The Hollyford River

Explore the Track

This is where the adventure begins

Early morning hours on the lake

Explore the Track

Early morning start to beat the sea breeze for a smooth’ish paddle to Martins Bay. One of the few days where the lake is actually calm.

The start of Lake Alabaster

Explore the Track

The long way home - The Hollyford Track

Explore the Track

We are almost home only 21km to go.

Night operations

Explore the Track

Trust your leader to get you to the other side

Your Accommodation with us

You will be staying in our eco-friendly, sustainable custom-built Tent Village – glamping-styled tenting, shared facilities, and epic views. Available the night(s) before and after the expedition.

Booking process

  1. Expression of Interest and Departure Date: Fill out the expression of interest form and select your preferred departure date.
  2. Meet Expedition Leaders Online: Connect with our Expedition Leaders to discuss details and determine if we’re a good fit for each other.
  3. Qualify and Register: If you qualify and are happy with us, complete the registration form, pay the deposit, and officially join the team.
  4. Preparation: Receive comprehensive information, including a guidebook, fitness plans, and an online theory course to prepare for the adventure.
  5. Stay in Touch: Keep us informed of your progress and any challenges you encounter—we’re here to help!
  6. Final Payment: Pay the remaining fee three months before departure.

Impressions from the Tour

Expression of interest

Interested in this Expedition? Fill out the following questionnaire and we’ll get back to you. Why do you need to apply for this expedition?

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Available Expedition Dates

Custom Dates are possible. Min number of participants apply. Please get in touch via email or give me a call. One form per participant please !
Choose the start date of your Expedition

Personal Details

Please fill in one form per participant.
Fitness plays a big roll in our sport and you'll get the most out of it if you are reasonably fit. For us its just to get an idea how far we can push you 🙂
If you have your own kit bring it even if you just have bits and pieces.
Just checking 🙂

Accommodation is Included

You are staying with us prior your expedition and are more than welcome to stay the day after

Additional info

Anything special we need to know?