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Hollyford Track. If you're itching to see some coastline during your hike, consider the Hollyford Track. At 56 km (35 mi), it's a four-day endeavor, taking you from the Hollyford Road down to Martins Bay by roughly following the Hollyford River. You'll pass a couple of lakes and waterfalls on your way; at the coastline you'll likely spy seals and penguins. Be particularly careful of flooded creek crossings. For DOC huts on the track, book in advance through the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. Lakefront Dr., Te Anau, 9600. 03/249–8514. www.doc.govt.nz.
Milford Track. If you plan to walk the Milford Track—a rewarding four-day bushwalk through Fiordland National Park—understand that it is one of New Zealand's most popular hikes. The 53½-km (33-mi) track is strictly one-way, and because park authorities control access, you can feel as though you have the wilderness more or less to yourself. Independent and guided groups stay in different overnight huts. The trailheads for the track are remote. Guided and unguided walks begin with a two-hour ferry ride to Glade Wharf on Lake Te Anau and end with a ferry taking you from Sandfly Point over to the Milford Sound wharf. Because of the good condition of the track, the walk is rarely demanding. But because the trail is often blocked by snow in winter, there is a restricted hiking season from late April until late October. Reservations are essential through the season, and there are no camping sites winter or summer.
Great Walks Booking Office. For seasonal reservations on the Milford Track, contact the Great Walks Booking Office. 03/249–8514. www.doc.govt.nz.
Real Journeys. If you don't have enough time for the whole Milford Track, try a day trip with Real Journeys, which includes a Lake Te Anau cruise and a guided day walk. 03/219–7416 or 0800/656–501. www.realjourneys.co.nz.
Routeburn Track. The 33-km (20.5-mi) Routeburn Track, like the Milford Track, is designated one of the country's Great Walks. Routeburn goes between Lake Wakatipu, near Glenorchy, and the road between Milford and Te Anau; it takes about three days to hike. The alpine landscape is stunning, and once you're above the treeline, the sand flies back off. As on the Milford, be prepared for rain and mud. Milford.
Ultimate Hikes. Going with a guide from Ultimate Hikes requires deep pockets but provides comfortable beds and a cook. For the Milford Track, it'll cost NZ$1,830 in high season (in multishare accommodation), including a cruise on Milford Sound and transport to and from Queenstown; the Routeburn is a bit cheaper at NZ$1,125 in the high season. If you're not up for a multiday trek, you can take a single-day "encounter" hike on either the Milford or Routeburn Track. Camp St. at Duke St., Queenstown, 9300. 03/450–1940 or 0800/659–255. www.ultimatehikes.co.nz.
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