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Article: Mountains to Ocean: The Hollyford Track

Crossing a swing bridge on the Hollyford Track wearing Asmuss

Mountains to Ocean: The Hollyford Track

We like to get outdoors, and having Clare back in New Zealand for a family Christmas meant we have the opportunity to see a part of the country we hadn’t seen before. We even got our Mum on the hike by agreeing to do the guided “glamping’ version of the Hollyford Track which avoided the Demon Trail. We certainly didn’t have any complaints about taking the guided option!

This trip was the first time we were all able to wear Asmuss that is available to purchase. We’re very pleased to say it made packing for the trip a lot easier than it might have.

View from Martins Bay, with flax, sea and sand hills in the foreground,  up the Hollyford Valley, Fiordland, New Zealand taken by Asmuss founder Fiona. Walking the Hollyford Track was a great test of the Asmuss luxury stylish sustainable travel clothing

This is the packing list of Asmuss designs we think works best for a 3 day/2 night hike based on what we took on the Hollyford Track.

    • A pair of either the Pleated Culottes, the Panelled Trousers or the Pleated Shorts for hiking in. These are all lightweight, are quick-drying, have pockets for lip balm and are made from sustainable castor bean oil fabric, which has a natural antibacterial property and if there are any pesky rain showers they are also water-resistant. Each of the sisters wore one of these and they worked brilliantly for each of us and our preferences. 
    • Either a Boxy Cropped T-Shirt or an A-line T-shirt made from wool and temperature regulating 37.5 Technology® for hiking in during the day. The 37.5 Technology® helps your body stay at a good temperature. Whether it is sunny and hot or cold the t-shirts will help keep you feeling comfortable.
    • For the evening we’d recommend a pair of either the Pleated Culottes or the Panelled Trousers. Having longer trousers will at least keep the sandflies away from your knees! Beware, sandflies love feet too so make sure you use repellant when wearing sandals after your hard day of walking, (I made the mistake of not putting any on, on the first night, Opps!). 
    • Other critical things to pack are: a sun hat (perhaps an Asmuss one in the future; a wool hat to keep you warm (such as the limited-edition Hand Knitted Beanies); good socks; hiking boots; a waterproof (not just resistant) jacket; an extra base layer in case it gets really cold; lightweight shoes for the evening.

Fiona, an Asmuss co-founder, wearing a sample of the  Asmuss bucket hat with Evelyn rose inspired embroidered badge with a backpack on.  She is smiling rather than grimacing.

The Hollyford Track is not one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks” so it isn’t as well known as the Milford Travel or Routeburn Track but it provides a wide range of landscapes from mountains to ocean as well as a unique history of settlement (that has all but been reclaimed by the forests). It is also a part of Fiordland that you can’t easily access otherwise.

The hills and sky reflected on the glasslike surface of Lake Alabaster, Fiordland, New Zealand. Taken by Asmuss founder FionaTaking the Ngai Tahu Tourism operated guided Hollyford Track option not only meant we could avoid the Demon Trail by being jet boated down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow, but that we had fabulous food provided especially the evening meals at the lodges, had hot showers and to end the adventure a helicopter flight from Martins Bay to Milford Sound which was just breathtaking.

Close up of the pink rata flower, a New Zealand native tree, on the  Hollyford Valley track, Fiordland, New ZealandWe always wonder what the other people in a group will be like and always hope that there will be interesting people in the group. We should know by now that generally, people that are interested in small group guided hikes (or trips in the Galapagos or food, wine, art and architecture experiences) are interesting and interested.

Looking up at the forest canopy that almost completely covers the sky, while walking the Hollyford Valley Track in Fiordland, New ZealandThis group were mostly Americans with half a dozen Kiwis (including the 4 of us) thrown in for good measure. Everyone wanted to get a deeper experience of the NZ outdoors but also saw value in being guided and having a more luxurious experience. After the long day of walking (or not so long) we would have beautiful NZ wine and beer to drink as well as delicious food, where we got to know the group better. As is typical of New Zealanders we managed to find people we knew in common with the other Kiwis in the group and also the guide. I’m not sure if it was unique to our group but everyone was on the hike as part of a family group – with at least one child (mostly adults) so it really is a multigenerational experience.

If you want to see a unique part of New Zealand & only have a few days available we’d highly recommend hiking the Hollyford Track with Ngai Tahu Tourism. 

One of many swing bridges on the Hollyford Track.  The Asmuss founders sister is crossing the swing bridge wearing Asmuss luxury travel clothing designs, Hollyford Track, Fiordland, New Zealand

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