the holy grail of New zealand packrafting and one heck of a trip for packraft newbies
This expedition combines our Packrafting beginner course with a 5 days around the Hollyford Pyke Loop, arguably the Holy Grail of New Zealand packrafting. A once in a lifetime trip giving you access to an area normally only visited by very experienced backcountry travellers. While the expedition is a tremendously rewarding adventure, it is not for the meek. Fiordland weather is unpredictable, the days are relatively rigorous, and the setting is very nearly at the end of the world. But for those up for the challenge, it offers unparalleled opportunities to escape the day to and immerse yourself in the wilderness.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
- Great for intermediate packrafters. Either consolidate your training or try out packrafting for the first time
- We offer professional training before you start to ensure you are comfortable in the boats and on the water
- The trip begins and ends in Te Anau
- 1-day beginner course + 6 days in the wilderness
WHAT WILL I NEED?
- Rental of packraft, paddle, and PFD included
- Your instructor will bring along a range of camping kit
- We will send you a recommended, personal packing list on confirmation of booking
OTHER THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND
- Accommodation before and after the trip is not included
- We recommend you allow an extra day after the trip, for unplanned delays as we go
Day 1: NEEDS CHANGE TO THE HOLLYFORD ITINERARY
After coffee in town we’ll head to the start of the Waiau River, a few short minutes from Te Anau. We’ll spend the morning learning about the boats and doing some training in the calmer upper sections of the Waiau, to make sure everyone is comfortable in the packrafts. Once everybody is happy we release you into the wild and onto the river. You run several easy but fun rapids on your way to the secluded shallow bay where you either camp or stay in the quaint hut of the same name. Beachcombing, bonfires, and swimming are all evening possibilities!
Across the lake! A mix of walking and paddling today as you make your way from one side of the lake to the other, exploring islands and isthmuses and white sandy beaches as you go. You’ll get a good chance to see what the boats are all about today as you’ll be utilizing them fully, with several transitions between water and land. The goal by the afternoon is the Monument, an iconic pinnacle thrusting up out of the lake. For those keen, enough (and without a fear of heights) take a trip to the top to marvel in the view, before finishing the day with a short paddle to Hope Arm and another hut or beach campsite.
Day three involves a gorgeous forest walk along classic kiwi trails back towards Manapouri where you’ll pull out the packrafts one more time for a final crossing of the river or lake. And then it’s back to civilization.
Book your spot
The Manapouri Expeditions
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the weather in fiordland
The weather in Fiordland can be very unpredictable and change dramatically, very quickly; the close proximity of towering mountains and the ocean makes for conditions and temperatures that can vary markedly during the course of a day. Fiordland is one of the wettest places on the planet.
Summer months average around 20°C but the evenings can be a little cooler. Winter temperatures average around 10°C on the coast with the evenings much colder.It is not unusual to experience both summer and winter conditions and temperatures on the same day!
It is important to be prepared for the worst conditions carry the appropriate clothing at all times. In the event of extreme weather, your safety is our priority and parts of the day may need to be changed. Any decision to do so is a professional decision made by your guide, please respect their decision as it is based on experience and with your safety in mind.
Regardless of the conditions you experience, sun, rain, a combination of the two, or anything in between, your experience on the Hollyford/Pyke Loop will be a memorable one