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The Hollyford: Out and Back to Alabaster, Southland

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The Hollyford: Out and Back to AlabasterBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Sierra Alef-Defoe

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Trail Information






Te Anau

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

6:30 (Slow)
4:00 (Moderate)
3:30 (Fast)



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A trail made for running! This undultating forest track is so well-maintained, it could be a Great Walk. In good weather you won't even get your feet wet.

The trail is mostly forest-covered, roughly following the Hollyford River, passing waterfalls (make a tiny detour to find the Hidden Falls) and views of Mt Madeine & Mt Tutoko.

It's a relatively flat track with a high point of 168m at the cute "Little Homer Saddle." The track passes Hidden Falls Hut, which is a 5-min detour if you need a bathroom break, and terminates at Alabaster Hut, the turn-around point.

Bring sandfly repellant if you want to stop and enjoy Lake Alabaster. The Hollyford track goes on past Alabaster Hut all the way to the coast, but the aptly named "Demon Trail" and Pyke-Big Bay Route are not recommended for running!

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Features of interest

Multiple waterfalls including Hidden Falls, views of Mt Madeline & Mt Tutoko, Lake Alabaster, Hollyford River

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 10%

Easy Single Track: 90%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Hollyford Track trailhead -- end of the Hollyford Road, off Milfod Road.

    Plenty of parking available at the trailhead.

    103 km

    120 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The trail is well-maintained and well sign-posted by DOC.


    Windproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone.

    Lots of streams, plus water tanks at both Hidden Falls and Alabaster huts.

    The Hollyford is a gem in that it's possible to do all year. However wouldn't go out in rainy/stormy condition, the streams can flood and the track would become muddy.

    There may be a bit of treefall. And if you stop for a while, sandflies!

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