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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Hollyford-Pyke Route: Introduction

If you get a thrill from exploring remote river valleys surrounded by snow-capped peaks and serene lakes, then the Hollyford-Pyke Route is for you. It's not for the faint-hearted, but if you're an experienced walker and don't mind putting in the long hours required to hack through the bush, the rewards are great.

Route details

This is a walk in two parts, the second of which is completely optional. The first part is the Hollyford Track, which takes you to Martins Bay, and the second is the Pyke Route, which loops round from Martins Bay back to Lake Alabaster. Don't try the Pyke Route unless you know what you're doing, as it can be very dangerous, especially in nasty weather.

Track/Route Day Walk km
Hollyford Track 1 Road End to Lake Alabaster 19.5
2 Lake Alabaster to Demon Trail 14.7
3 Demon Trail to Hokuri 9.6
4 Hokuri to Martins Bay 13.5
Pyke Route Martins Bay to Big Bay 15*
5 Big Bay to Olivine 20*
6 Rest Day in Olivine -
7 Olivine to Lake Alabaster 25*
Hollyford Track 8 Lake Alabaster to Road End 19.5
Total distance 138

Please note that distances marked with an asterisk are estimates. At the time I measured the whole Hollyford-Pyke Route at about 138km, with the Pyke Route accounting for 60km, but I don't currently have the maps to hand to check the figures for the individual days on the Pyke Route. It's also worth noting that on the Pyke Route, distances are pretty irrelevant; the 20km stretch from Big Bay to Olivine took me 14.5 hours, and the 10km from Olivine took seven hours, which is a huge amount of time compared to any of the Hollyford Track sections.