Preparing for the Hollyford Track


Preparing for the Hollyford Track
While the Hollyford Track is not the most difficult of walks, it nonetheless requires some preparation. Here are our top tips to getting your body ready for the days of walking ahead.

According to the information provided by the Fiorland National Park,  The Hollyford Track is suitable for most ages and abilities, from 8 years-old and up.

Exercise training 101 

While the track is well formed and, being a valley walk, not very difficult you will need to prepare your body for the long days of walking – day one in particular can be quite tiring for as you will walk 17km in around about 7 hours.

Those with a reasonable level of fitness will find the walk pleasantly challenging, and highly rewarding, but as with all things in life preparation makes perfect.

The following points are recommend to help you structure a training programme. Make sure you start at least 6 weeks beforehand, to ensure your walk with us is comfortable as well as enjoyable:

  • Start simple and around town – brisk walks of approx.. one hour;
  • Wear a bag or pack weighing about 6kgs to simulate what you will carry your first day on the Hollyford Track;
  • One month out increase your walks to 3 hours – more as you get fitter – and try bush tracks or uneven terrain to develop balance and the different muscle groups needed;
  • Hills and stair work will greatly improve fitness;
  • Remember hydration and nutrition even in training, drink plenty of water and eat snack foods such as muesli bars, banana chips and chocolate. If you do this in your training walks your body will become used to processing food whilst on the move!

Packing List

The Hollyford Track offers a captivating wilderness journey in New Zealand’s stunning Fiordland National Park. As you prepare for your adventure, packing the right gear and essentials is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here’s a comprehensive packing list to help you make the most of your Hollyford Track excursion:


  • Hiking Boots: Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with ankle support are essential for the trail’s varied terrain.
  • Moisture-Wicking Clothing: Pack lightweight, moisture-wicking shirts and pants to keep you dry and comfortable during hikes.
  • Warm Layers: Bring fleece jackets, sweaters, or down jackets to stay warm in cooler temperatures.
  • Rain Gear: A waterproof and breathable rain jacket and rain pants will protect you from unexpected downpours.
  • Hat and Gloves: These items are crucial for warmth, sun protection, and added comfort.
  • Quick-Drying Undergarments: Pack moisture-wicking underwear and socks to prevent chafing and discomfort.
  • Swimwear: If you plan to swim or take a dip in the river, bring appropriate swimwear.


  • Backpack: Choose a well-fitting backpack to carry your gear comfortably during the trek.
  • Trekking Poles: Optional but helpful for stability, especially on uneven terrain.
  • Sleeping Bag: A quality sleeping bag suitable for the expected temperatures along the trail.
  • Sleeping Pad: An inflatable or foam sleeping pad for added insulation and comfort.
  • Headlamp: Essential for navigating at night or in low-light conditions.
  • Multi-tool or Knife: A versatile tool for various tasks.
  • First Aid Kit: Include essentials like bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and any personal medications.
  • Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from pesky bugs and mosquitoes.
  • Sun Protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sun.
  • Camera: Capture the stunning landscapes and memorable moments along the track.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle.
  • Cooking Equipment: If you plan to cook, bring a portable stove, cooking utensils, and lightweight cookware.

Food and Hydration:

  • Trail Snacks: Pack energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, and other lightweight snacks.
  • Meals: If you’re responsible for your own meals, pack lightweight dehydrated or freeze-dried meals.
  • Utensils: Include a compact set of utensils for eating your meals.


  • Map and Compass/GPS: Navigation tools are essential for staying on the right path.
  • Cash: Carry some local currency for any unexpected expenses.
  • Personal Identification: Keep your identification, permits, and emergency contact information handy.
  • Trash Bags: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all your trash.
  • Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap, and other personal hygiene items.

Remember that the specific gear and clothing you need might vary based on the time of year and your personal preferences. Always check with your tour provider or park authorities for any additional recommendations or requirements before setting off on the Hollyford Track adventure.

Have you walked along the Hollyford Track? How did you prepare for the journey and what are your tips for those thinking of embarking on the treck? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


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