Charlies Place, Hollyford Track, Fiordland National Park
Tramping (Seal Colony)…
From Charlies it is approximately 3½ - 4 hours walk to the Fur Seal Colony at Long Reef Point at Martins Bay. Most of this tract is flat and well graded, taking you through some beautiful sections of Fiordland's Podocarp rainforest. As this is a long walk both ways, Charlie can assist with his stabi dinghy @ $55.00/hour boat rental) to reduce the walking time. Giving you an opportunity to check out the Lower Hollyford Rivers and Martins Bay Sand hills not normally accessible to independent trampers on the Hollyford Track. (Boating weather and tide dependant).
Obviously if you are walking the whole Hollyford Track and have just conquered the infamous Demon Trail, which isn't really that bad if you are fit and experienced to New Zealand Wilderness then an overnight at Charlies is a must, with hot showers, clean sheets and comfortable surrounds.
From Charlies at Jamestown Bay to the Martins Bay Sand hills is approximately 1½ hours paddle, dependent on tides in the rivers. This can be a very interesting way to check out the Lower Hollyford River and has side estuaries. This wide meandering costal river is unique in the Fiordland landscape. Sections have an Amazonian feel with rainforest overhanging the river banks. Dependent on the time of the year you can see White Herons and Kingfishers. Seals work their way up the river from the sea almost daily and if you are lucky you may even see and play with a pod of Dolphins that come up from the sea on a regular basis to visit Lake McKerrow.
Previous Sea Kayaking experience is essential. No crossing of the Hollyford Bar into the Tasman Sea. Charlie has a strict rental arrangement, which identifies the main risks of the area (requires signage). Kayaking dependent on weather and tides.
Combination Sea Kayaking/Boating/Tramping etc…
Can be arranged to best suit you and your party to get the best overview of the area (Sand hills/Seal Colony/Lower Hollyford)
Due to the seals and dolphins which visit the lower Hollyford and Lake McKerrow, the fishing is not the best. (Fishing licences required / Fishing permitted all year).
Hunting (Introduced Red Deer)… Hunting is encouraged by the Department of Conservation as the red deer is an introduced pest, which is severely affecting this very sensitive eco-system. There are plenty of deer in the area, however due to hunting pressure over the years they have become a very educated to the human hunting presence.
Hunting all year, but best in autumn (Roar). Permits are required from D.O.C. Although this is a pest, Charlie does not like to see wastage of kills. The thick Fiordland forest is best suited to Hunters experienced with New Zealand conditions. These being absolutely no comparison to North American or European open woodland hunting conditions or conceptions of hunting (Bush survival skills essential).
As a member of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand (F&B), Charlies activities engages in the preservation of his local environmental (Flora & Fauna) by trapping of possums and stoats etc. Guests interested in this can accompany Charlie. Warning Not suitable for those unaccustomed to the realities of such environmental work e.g. sensitive towards soft fury such pests etc) Note If you wish to help Charlies endeavours, donations of Finn Traps and Covers, Tin Traps etc are very much appreciated. Available from Pest Management Services (0800) 111 466.
If you are romantically inclined refer to Charlies "Honeymoon Deal" (see pricing page) where he rents the whole lodge to just you and overnights elsewhere.
Charlie is a small one man band operator and only offers accommodation and boat rental. However he is happy to give guidelines on all above activities (except Honeymoon). He does not operate as a paid guide. Should he accompany you to show you around this special place (Sand hills etc) it is all F.O.C (Free of Charge). You are only paying for the boat rental (running costs)
Whether you are out Tramping / Sea Kayaking / Hunting you take the responsibility for your own personal safety. This is a remote wilderness area, where nature still makes the rules.