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7 Day Queen Charlotte Sounds and Abel Tasman Hike

21-29 hrs hiking over 7 days

Days
7

Pricing From
$3395

South Island
Book Now

Overview

Hike the enchanting lakeside and coastal trails of the upper South Island on the 7 Day Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Trails, and experience the secluded and rolling tussock landscape of the South Island high country in this moderate to easy trekking adventure beginning and ending in Christchurch. Spend time walking the Queen Charlotte Track, Abel Tasman National Park coastal track and Nelson Lakes National Park. Full-lodge accommodation is included.

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy full and half day hikes amidst some of NZ's best coastal scenery
  • Marvel at the magnificent vistas in the Marlborough Sounds & Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Visit Motuara Island bird sanctuary to see and hear incredible NZ birdlife
  • Relax in the comfort and hospitality of a secluded lodge
  • Sail the beautiful coastal waters of the Abel Tasman National Park after the hike to Torrent Bay
  • Take in the panoramic views of Nelson Lakes National Park from the bushline track
  • Climb to the summit of Mt Isobel at 1324 metres

Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Trails

Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Trails

Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Trails

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to PictonWalk time: 1.5 - 2.5 (L,D)

We will collect you from a central city location in Christchurch at 8am before we drive north to Kaikoura taking approx 2.5hours. The drive is scenic and we head to the Kaikoura Peninsula where we embark on our first walk along the cliff tops. We are rewarded with dramatic views of mountains and sea, where we can spot seals and seabirds. We continue to drive up the east coast for a further 2 hours to reach Picton; the gateway to the stunning Marlborough Sounds. We have time to explore the town, the marina or take a number of short bush walks before meeting for our first group dinner. We will spend the next 2 nights in Picton. Walking time: 1.5 - 2.5 hours

Meals:  L,D

Day 2Motuara Island - Queen Charlotte TrackWalk time: 4 - 6.5 hours (B,L,D)

This morning we have an early start to catch an 8am cruise to the far reaches of the Marlborough Sounds. Our first stop is Motuara Island, where we disembark to the magic of morning birdsong and have 2 hours to explore this interesting bird sanctuary. We can walk to a lookout point, taking approx 30 minutes in each direction offering incredible 360 degree views. Watch out for native penguins, tui, bellbirds, saddleback and yellow-crowned parakeets. Returning to our boat, we cross to Resolution Bay where we take our first walk along the Queen Charlotte track. The track is a well-graded old bridle path which climbs over a ridge and winds downward to the head of Endeavour Inlet, weaving through native bush with glimpses into the many bays below. On reaching Furneaux Lodge there is time for refreshments and possibly a dip in the sea before we catch our water taxi back to Picton. We overnight again in Picton.

Walking time: Motuara Island 2 hours, Resolution Bay to Endeavour Inlet 3 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 3Queen Charlotte track to Lochmara Lodge5 hours walking (B,L,D)

After breakfast we pack an overnight bag to be transported by boat to tonight's accommodation, the rest of our gear is stored on the bus. We then transfer a short distance to Anakiwa and set out on another scenic section of the Queen Charlotte track. We start with an easy walk through mature beech forest to Umungata (Davies Bay), then climb to a headland, giving wonderful views into the Sounds. Weaving in and out of Manuka bush, we climb a ridgeline for more panoramic views of the vivid blue sea, secluded bays and bush clad shorelines. From here we gradually descend into the next bay to reach our comfortable lodge, accessible only by foot, bike or boat. The rest of the afternoon provides a great opportunity to relax in one of the many hammocks, take out a kayak or paddleboard, swim, explore the bush walks around the property, visit the Underwater Observatory (own expense) or the art exhibition spaces. When it is dark, make sure to explore the gloworm grotto! Walking time: 5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Lochmara Lodge to Motueka1-2 hours walking (B,L,D)

After a relaxed breakfast, we have chance to enjoy more of the surrounds and activities at our beautiful accommodation. We leave by water taxi at 11am and return to Picton. We then drive to Nelson, where there is an opportunity to walk to "The Centre of New Zealand" which takes us to a vantage point overlooking the city and Tasman Bay. The final drive of the day takes us onto the small town of Motueka, known for its lively café culture and artistic community, where we will stay for the following two nights. Walking time: 1-2 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 5Motueka and Abel Tasman Track3 hrs walking; 3 hrs sailing (B,L,D)

This morning we drive to Marahau and the start of the famous Abel Tasman track. We will take a half day hike into Anchorage along the Abel Tasman walkway. The track is well formed and drops into several beautiful sheltered bays and golden sand beaches. Around midday we have a picnic lunch overlooking Torrent Bay and then board a catamaran for an exciting sail around the heads and back to our vehicle. To round out a wonderful day, we take some time to enjoy Kaiteriteri beach, with the chance for a late afternoon swim or a relaxing stroll along the golden sands. From here it is only a short drive back to Motueka. Walking time: 3 hours Sailing: 3 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 6Motueka to St Arnaud2 or 5 hours walking (B,L,D)

Leaving Moteuka we have a short 1 hour drive inland into the Nelson Lake National Park and at St Arnaud we have a choice of a shorter 2 hour loop in the Lake Rotoiti Nature Recovery area or a 5 hour circuit to the upper slopes of Mt Roberts. This track climbs steeply to the bushline and the summit of the ridgeline with incredible views back over the lake and St Arnaud range, before returning via a loop track back to the bus and our accommodation. The native bush is stunning and Lake Rotoiti is a magic location with a mountainous backdrop. Walking options: 2 hours or 5 hours

Meals: B,L,D

Day 7St Arnaud to Christchurch3 hours walking (B,L)

Intensive pest eradication has meant native bird numbers are increasing in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Early risers this morning will have the chance to take a short bush walk and experience the morning songs of the forest or “dawn chorus.” We then drive via the spectacular Buller Gorge and Lewis Pass to Hanmer, where we detour to Jacks Pass and hike via the subalpine scrub and open grassland to the summit of Mt Isobel (1324 metres) for panoramic views of the Hanmer Basin and beyond. There is the option for those who prefer to relax to visit the hot pools and soak in the thermal springs (own expense). Late afternoon we return to Christchurch and drop you off in central Christchurch around 6-7pm. Walking time: 3 hours

Meals:  B,L

Cost per person

November 2022 - April 2023

  • NZ$3,395
  • Single supplement: NZ$750
  • Public Holiday surcharge: NZ$50 per person

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to PictonWalk time: 1.5 - 2.5 (L,D)

We will collect you from a central city location in Christchurch at 8am before we drive north to Kaikoura taking approx 2.5hours. The drive is scenic and we head to the Kaikoura Peninsula where we embark on our first walk along the cliff tops. We are rewarded with dramatic views of mountains and sea, where we can spot seals and seabirds. We continue to drive up the east coast for a further 2 hours to reach Picton; the gateway to the stunning Marlborough Sounds. We have time to explore the town, the marina or take a number of short bush walks before meeting for our first group dinner. We will spend the next 2 nights in Picton. Walking time: 1.5 - 2.5 hours

Meals:  L,D

Day 2Motuara Island - Queen Charlotte TrackWalk time: 4 - 6.5 hours (B,L,D)

This morning we have an early start to catch an 8am cruise to the far reaches of the Marlborough Sounds. Our first stop is Motuara Island, where we disembark to the magic of morning birdsong and have 2 hours to explore this interesting bird sanctuary. We can walk to a lookout point, taking approx 30 minutes in each direction offering incredible 360 degree views. Watch out for native penguins, tui, bellbirds, saddleback and yellow-crowned parakeets. Returning to our boat, we cross to Resolution Bay where we take our first walk along the Queen Charlotte track. The track is a well-graded old bridle path which climbs over a ridge and winds downward to the head of Endeavour Inlet, weaving through native bush with glimpses into the many bays below. On reaching Furneaux Lodge there is time for refreshments and possibly a dip in the sea before we catch our water taxi back to Picton. We overnight again in Picton.

Walking time: Motuara Island 2 hours, Resolution Bay to Endeavour Inlet 3 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 3Queen Charlotte track to Lochmara Lodge5 hours walking (B,L,D)

After breakfast we pack an overnight bag to be transported by boat to tonight's accommodation, the rest of our gear is stored on the bus. We then transfer a short distance to Anakiwa and set out on another scenic section of the Queen Charlotte track. We start with an easy walk through mature beech forest to Umungata (Davies Bay), then climb to a headland, giving wonderful views into the Sounds. Weaving in and out of Manuka bush, we climb a ridgeline for more panoramic views of the vivid blue sea, secluded bays and bush clad shorelines. From here we gradually descend into the next bay to reach our comfortable lodge, accessible only by foot, bike or boat. The rest of the afternoon provides a great opportunity to relax in one of the many hammocks, take out a kayak or paddleboard, swim, explore the bush walks around the property, visit the Underwater Observatory (own expense) or the art exhibition spaces. When it is dark, make sure to explore the gloworm grotto! Walking time: 5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Lochmara Lodge to Motueka1-2 hours walking (B,L,D)

After a relaxed breakfast, we have chance to enjoy more of the surrounds and activities at our beautiful accommodation. We leave by water taxi at 11am and return to Picton. We then drive to Nelson, where there is an opportunity to walk to "The Centre of New Zealand" which takes us to a vantage point overlooking the city and Tasman Bay. The final drive of the day takes us onto the small town of Motueka, known for its lively café culture and artistic community, where we will stay for the following two nights. Walking time: 1-2 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 5Motueka and Abel Tasman Track3 hrs walking; 3 hrs sailing (B,L,D)

This morning we drive to Marahau and the start of the famous Abel Tasman track. We will take a half day hike into Anchorage along the Abel Tasman walkway. The track is well formed and drops into several beautiful sheltered bays and golden sand beaches. Around midday we have a picnic lunch overlooking Torrent Bay and then board a catamaran for an exciting sail around the heads and back to our vehicle. To round out a wonderful day, we take some time to enjoy Kaiteriteri beach, with the chance for a late afternoon swim or a relaxing stroll along the golden sands. From here it is only a short drive back to Motueka. Walking time: 3 hours Sailing: 3 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 6Motueka to St Arnaud2 or 5 hours walking (B,L,D)

Leaving Moteuka we have a short 1 hour drive inland into the Nelson Lake National Park and at St Arnaud we have a choice of a shorter 2 hour loop in the Lake Rotoiti Nature Recovery area or a 5 hour circuit to the upper slopes of Mt Roberts. This track climbs steeply to the bushline and the summit of the ridgeline with incredible views back over the lake and St Arnaud range, before returning via a loop track back to the bus and our accommodation. The native bush is stunning and Lake Rotoiti is a magic location with a mountainous backdrop. Walking options: 2 hours or 5 hours

Meals: B,L,D

Day 7St Arnaud to Christchurch3 hours walking (B,L)

Intensive pest eradication has meant native bird numbers are increasing in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Early risers this morning will have the chance to take a short bush walk and experience the morning songs of the forest or “dawn chorus.” We then drive via the spectacular Buller Gorge and Lewis Pass to Hanmer, where we detour to Jacks Pass and hike via the subalpine scrub and open grassland to the summit of Mt Isobel (1324 metres) for panoramic views of the Hanmer Basin and beyond. There is the option for those who prefer to relax to visit the hot pools and soak in the thermal springs (own expense). Late afternoon we return to Christchurch and drop you off in central Christchurch around 6-7pm. Walking time: 3 hours

Meals:  B,L

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