This package is pure Marlborough Sounds luxury! After an exhilarating walk each day, at night we come to rest at an upmarket accommodation place complete with gourmet restaurant, fine wines and a superb setting. This tour features small walking groups with an emphasis on discerning service, attention to detail and knowledgeable, local guides with an extensive repertoir on the area. It is THE gourmet package for the track! With this tour, you have the bonus of a day's rest at Portage Bay where you can put your feet up, read a book, join us for a guided sea kayak tour or take a day trip to the nearby Marlborough wine region. Bliss!
When English explorer Captain James Cook sailed into the settled waters of the Marlborough Sounds in the late 17th Century, he must have believed this was paradise. Join us for a modern day journey in Cook’s footsteps along the renowned 71km Queen Charlotte Track. Explore this vast network of drowned river valleys from the unique perspective of this well-formed track. Here lush coastal beech forest reaches out to greet lapping tides of ever-changing hues.
Remember, we can also arrange fantastic Marlborough Sounds sea kayaking and Marlborough Wine Region walking tours pre and post your adventure with us on the track! NB. A pre-tour briefing is conducted the day prior to departure. Details will be forwarded with your booking confirmation.
Day 1 – Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet.(approx. 5 hours/14km).
We will collect you from your accommodation in Picton to join the boat trip to Motuara Island for a bird sanctuary tour en route to Ship Cove. Learn about the fascinating marine life of this area and, if we are lucky, see dolphins as well! Enjoy a short warm up walk on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary to the lookout – this affords spectacular 360deg views of the Marlborough Sounds – and see many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species. Arrive late morning at Ship Cove to begin our walk. This scenic & historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s. Experience virgin beech forest at its best plus stunning views throughout today’s walk. NB. Our visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – this is due to the fact there are no toilets or shelter on the island.
Accommodation – Furneaux Lodge
Built early this century, Furneaux Lodge comprises the original homestead, restaurant, bar, fully self-contained chalets and upmarket studio units in a delightfully picturesque setting. Furneaux Lodge has an excellent restaurant for dinner and/or breakfasts.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Punga Cove. (approx. 4 hours/12km).
Today’s mainly coastal walk takes you around the inlet through regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other NZ native birds. Pause at the head of the bay to learn more about antimony & the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay before working your way towards Camp Bay and, five minutes on from there, Punga Cove.
Accommodation – Punga Cove
Nestled amidst the native bush, Punga Cove’s well-appointed individual chalets are a welcome respite. The gourmet restaurant with its impressive view caps off a perfect day and is also open for breakfasts overlooking the bay.
Day 3 – Punga Cove to Torea Saddle/The Portage.(approx. 8 hours/22.5km).
A challenging day on the ridgeline between Punga Cove & Torea Saddle near Portage. Truly grand vistas abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Those who feel like a day’s rest can opt for a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Portage.
Accommodation – The Portage Resort Hotel
Nestled at the narrowest point between Queen Charlotte & Kenepuru Sounds, The Portage Hotel is a well-established accommodation place with a fine restaurant, relaxed cafe & comfortable, recently upgraded natural timber chalets. Breakfasts are available as well in the restaurant from 7am. NB. Optional boat trip available to Portage for non-walkers (at own cost)
Day 4 – Rest Day at The Portage Resort Hotel
Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at The Portage Resort Hotel. We can arrange guided sea kayaking and wine walk tours for those interested. Lunch is not included today unless on an organised tour that has been pre-arranged.
Day 5 – Torea Saddle/The Portage to Anakiwa. (approx.7 hours/20.5km).
Farewell Portage and ascend to the ridgeline once again, enjoying stunning views. Open farmland and a grand native bush section to finish is a fitting finale. Today you return by boat from the Tirimoana Wharf to Picton to compete your journey.
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