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5 Day Queen Charlotte Track Premier Guided Walk

69 kms (about 24 hrs) walking over 4 days; with 1 extra rest day included

Days
5

Pricing From
$3125

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

In the late 17th Century, English voyager Captain James Cook must have thought he was in paradise, when he sailed into the calm waters of the Marlborough Sounds. Today you can come with us on a present day expedition following in Cook's path along the legendary 71km Queen Charlotte Track. Discover this immense system of drowned river valleys from the matchless viewpoint of this well-formed track. On the Queen Charlotte Track luxuriant coastal beech forest reaches out to meet lapping tides of constantly shifting hues. This exceptional guided walk option stops each night at luxurious boutique lodges, as well as a Wildlife Recovery & Arts Centre.

Tour Grading: C

  • No hiking experience necessary.
  • You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic.
  • Terrain mostly tracks.
  • Light day pack carried, with luggage transported by water taxi.

To get to Picton, probably the best way is to take the Interislander Ferry across from Wellington to Picton. Alternatively you can take the Coastal Pacific Train* up from Christchurch to Picton.

*The train will have daily departures over summer, 7 days a week, from 1 December 2018 to 28 April 2019 only. For more information and updates about travel around Canterbury and Marlborough regions, please visit this website.

Boarding Beachcomber Cruies for the Queen Charlotte Track

Boarding Beachcomber Cruies for the Queen Charlotte Track

Overlooking Motuara Island on the Queen Charlotte Track

Overlooking Motuara Island on the Queen Charlotte Track

Bath with a view at No Road Inn

Bath with a view at No Road Inn

NZ Native Wood Pigeon

NZ Native Wood Pigeon

Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds

Saddleback on Motuara Island

Saddleback on Motuara Island

Queen Charlotte Track

Queen Charlotte Track

Mahana Lodge Queen Charlotte Track

Mahana Lodge Queen Charlotte Track

Sunset in Marlborough

Sunset in Marlborough

Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds

Kenepuru Sounds

Kenepuru Sounds

5 Day Queen Charlotte Track Deluxe Guided Walk

5 Day Queen Charlotte Track Deluxe Guided Walk

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet approx. 5 hours, 12 kms

Day 0 -A pre-tour briefing is held the day prior to departure. Details will be forwarded with your booking confirmation.

We will collect you from your accommodation in Picton this morning, introduce you to your guide and then depart on the boat trip to Motuara Island for a tour en route to Ship Cove. Learn about the fascinating marine life of this area along the way and, if we are lucky, see dolphins as well! Enjoy a short walk on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary to the lookout – this affords spectacular 360 degree views of the Marlborough Sounds – and encounter many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species including the South Island Saddleback (Tieke).

Arrive late morning at Ship Cove to begin the Queen Charlotte Track. This scenic and historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s as well as being a site of significance for local Maori. Bush is mainly a mixture of stunning podocarp and beech forest with punga ferns and other New Zealand native foliage. This day is regarded as the premier section of the Queen Charlotte Track. Your walk concludes at Furneaux Lodge where you enjoy a private dining experience and the very best ensuite units. NB. The visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – as there are no toilets or shelter on the island.

Accommodation - Furneaux Lodge Upgrade 

Built early this century, Furneaux Lodge comprises the original historic homestead now home to the restaurant and bar as well as separate fully self-contained chalets and upmarket studio units with sea views in a delightfully picturesque setting. Furneaux Lodge has an excellent restaurant for dinner and breakfasts. Our guided walkers stay in the upmarket studio suites with private ensuite and views out to the bay.

Day 2Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Mahana Lodgapprox. 4 hours, 12 kms

Today’s coastal walk takes you from Furneaux Lodge to Mahana Lodge through mostly regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other New Zealand native birds.

From Furneaux Lodge, the track continues through native bush and over a small swing bridge to the head of Endeavour Inlet. Pause there to learn more about antimony and the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay where pristine native beech forest awaits before working your way towards Camp Bay and Punga Cove. Mahana Lodge is a five minute walk past Punga Cove.

Accommodation - Mahana Lodge

The clear waters of Endeavour Inlet stretch out towards bush covered mountains and often the only sound is the gentle lapping of the waves, and the song of the bellbird.

Your hosts John and Ann have shaped Mahana into an oasis for the weary with its delightful and lovingly restored historic homestead where you dine on the veranda looking out into the bay to the purpose built lodge with four new ensuite rooms and shared guest lounge.

Visit John's extensive organic vegetable garden, enjoy free range eggs and test your hosts' knowledge of the local flora and fauna - you won't be disappointed. Dine this evening on the deck, soaking up the beautiful views whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked meal. 

Day 3Mahana Lodge to Portage Bay/Lochmara Lodgeapprox. 8 hours, 23 kms

You won’t want to leave but today we depart Mahana Lodge and return to the ridgeline to continue our hike along the Queen Charlotte Track. A challenging but rewarding day on the ridgeline between Punga Cove & Torea Saddle. Truly grand views abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Stare in awe at the sunken river valleys of the Marlborough Sounds from the iconic Eatwell’s Lookout. At different times you can see both the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as you walk. This is a truly spectacular section of the track. Those who feel like a day’s rest today can opt for a boat ride around the bays’ of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Lochmara Lodge. We conclude our walk at Portage Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at the iconic Lochmara Lodge. NB. Optional boat trip today for non-walkers (additional cost).

Accommodation - Lochmara Lodge Upgrade

Set on the tranquil shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound, Lochmara Lodge features quality accommodation as well as aviaries and enclosures with endangered species, an organic vegetable garden and orchard, educational signage, sculpture trail and art gallery. Our independent walkers stay in the luxurious Kakariki suites, each with ensuite and view to the sea.

Day 4Rest Day

Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at Lochmara Lodge. Take a kayak out or perhaps you prefer rest and relaxation enjoying a luxurious massage at the lodge or soaking in the twin baths in The Bathhouse. There are plenty of short trails to explore with art nestled in the bush, hammocks to lie in and wildlife to learn about at this conservation-minded retreat. You can do as much or as little as you like, the choice is yours. Lunch is not included today unless on an organised tour that has been pre-arranged.

Day 5Lochmara Lodge to Anakiwa approx. 6 hours, 16 km

Farewell Lochmara Lodge and ascend to the ridgeline once again via the private side track to the main Queen Charlotte Track, enjoying stunning views back towards Picton as well as into the turquoise waters of the Kenepuru Sound. Open farmland and a grand native bush section to finish is a fitting finale after four days of walking. Take time for a photo stop at the picturesque Davies Bay – you won’t want the journey to end. Today you return by boat from the Anakiwa Jetty to Picton, arriving back to Wilderness Guides HQ by late afternoon.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet approx. 5 hours, 12 kms

Day 0 -A pre-tour briefing is held the day prior to departure. Details will be forwarded with your booking confirmation.

We will collect you from your accommodation in Picton this morning, introduce you to your guide and then depart on the boat trip to Motuara Island for a tour en route to Ship Cove. Learn about the fascinating marine life of this area along the way and, if we are lucky, see dolphins as well! Enjoy a short walk on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary to the lookout – this affords spectacular 360 degree views of the Marlborough Sounds – and encounter many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species including the South Island Saddleback (Tieke).

Arrive late morning at Ship Cove to begin the Queen Charlotte Track. This scenic and historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s as well as being a site of significance for local Maori. Bush is mainly a mixture of stunning podocarp and beech forest with punga ferns and other New Zealand native foliage. This day is regarded as the premier section of the Queen Charlotte Track. Your walk concludes at Furneaux Lodge where you enjoy a private dining experience and the very best ensuite units. NB. The visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – as there are no toilets or shelter on the island.

Accommodation - Furneaux Lodge Upgrade 

Built early this century, Furneaux Lodge comprises the original historic homestead now home to the restaurant and bar as well as separate fully self-contained chalets and upmarket studio units with sea views in a delightfully picturesque setting. Furneaux Lodge has an excellent restaurant for dinner and breakfasts. Our guided walkers stay in the upmarket studio suites with private ensuite and views out to the bay.

Day 2Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Mahana Lodgapprox. 4 hours, 12 kms

Today’s coastal walk takes you from Furneaux Lodge to Mahana Lodge through mostly regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other New Zealand native birds.

From Furneaux Lodge, the track continues through native bush and over a small swing bridge to the head of Endeavour Inlet. Pause there to learn more about antimony and the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay where pristine native beech forest awaits before working your way towards Camp Bay and Punga Cove. Mahana Lodge is a five minute walk past Punga Cove.

Accommodation - Mahana Lodge

The clear waters of Endeavour Inlet stretch out towards bush covered mountains and often the only sound is the gentle lapping of the waves, and the song of the bellbird.

Your hosts John and Ann have shaped Mahana into an oasis for the weary with its delightful and lovingly restored historic homestead where you dine on the veranda looking out into the bay to the purpose built lodge with four new ensuite rooms and shared guest lounge.

Visit John's extensive organic vegetable garden, enjoy free range eggs and test your hosts' knowledge of the local flora and fauna - you won't be disappointed. Dine this evening on the deck, soaking up the beautiful views whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked meal. 

Day 3Mahana Lodge to Portage Bay/Lochmara Lodgeapprox. 8 hours, 23 kms

You won’t want to leave but today we depart Mahana Lodge and return to the ridgeline to continue our hike along the Queen Charlotte Track. A challenging but rewarding day on the ridgeline between Punga Cove & Torea Saddle. Truly grand views abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Stare in awe at the sunken river valleys of the Marlborough Sounds from the iconic Eatwell’s Lookout. At different times you can see both the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as you walk. This is a truly spectacular section of the track. Those who feel like a day’s rest today can opt for a boat ride around the bays’ of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Lochmara Lodge. We conclude our walk at Portage Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at the iconic Lochmara Lodge. NB. Optional boat trip today for non-walkers (additional cost).

Accommodation - Lochmara Lodge Upgrade

Set on the tranquil shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound, Lochmara Lodge features quality accommodation as well as aviaries and enclosures with endangered species, an organic vegetable garden and orchard, educational signage, sculpture trail and art gallery. Our independent walkers stay in the luxurious Kakariki suites, each with ensuite and view to the sea.

Day 4Rest Day

Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at Lochmara Lodge. Take a kayak out or perhaps you prefer rest and relaxation enjoying a luxurious massage at the lodge or soaking in the twin baths in The Bathhouse. There are plenty of short trails to explore with art nestled in the bush, hammocks to lie in and wildlife to learn about at this conservation-minded retreat. You can do as much or as little as you like, the choice is yours. Lunch is not included today unless on an organised tour that has been pre-arranged.

Day 5Lochmara Lodge to Anakiwa approx. 6 hours, 16 km

Farewell Lochmara Lodge and ascend to the ridgeline once again via the private side track to the main Queen Charlotte Track, enjoying stunning views back towards Picton as well as into the turquoise waters of the Kenepuru Sound. Open farmland and a grand native bush section to finish is a fitting finale after four days of walking. Take time for a photo stop at the picturesque Davies Bay – you won’t want the journey to end. Today you return by boat from the Anakiwa Jetty to Picton, arriving back to Wilderness Guides HQ by late afternoon.

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