Skip to contentSkip to menu

5 Day Queen Charlotte Track Deluxe Guided Walk

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

Days
5

Pricing From
$2925

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

Raetihi Lodge guest room

Raetihi Lodge guest room

Raetihi Lodge

Raetihi Lodge

Raetihi Lodge

Raetihi Lodge

Itinerary

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

NB. A pre-tour briefing is conducted at our offices on Picton Waterfront at 5pm the day prior to departure. Please let us know if you are unable to attend for any reason.

We will collect you from your accommodation in Picton to join the boat trip with Beachcomber Cruises 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. Packs are to be checked prior to visiting to ensure no traces of our visit are left behind. 

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 Mahana Lodge, Bay of Many Coves approx. 4 hours, 12 kms

Farewell the Furneaux Lodge and continue the mainly coastal walk around Endeavour 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.

Head uphill towards the ridgeline and onwards to the Bay of Many Coves Shelter. Soon the bays and coves of the Queen Charlotte Sound are far below. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay before working your way towards Camp Bay and Punga Cove. Mahana Homestead is a five to 10 minute walk from 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 Raetihi Lodge approx. 8 hours, 22.5 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. Today is a challenging day traversing the ridgeline between Mahana Lodge & Raetihi Lodge in Torea Bay. Truly grand vistas abound round every corner - a wonderful reward indeed.Those who feel like a day’s rest are treated to a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Raetihi Lodge. We conclude our walk at Coshwed Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at Raetihi Lodge. 

Accommodation - Raetihi Lodge

Nestled in a secluded bay of extraordinary natural beauty in the Kenepuru Sound is Raetihi Lodge. Since the 1930s, Raetihi Lodge has built a reputation as one of the most popular destinations in the Marlborough Sounds. Extensively rebuilt, its accommodation and facilities are rated 4 star plus Hosted Qualmark with luxury and comfort set amidst the serenity and nature of the Marlborough Sounds. A water's edge retreat, Raetihi Lodge sets its own standards for gracious and unsurpassed hospitality. Rooms feature a fridge, mini-bar, ensuite, tea/coffee making facilities, bathrobe; all the comfort you'll need. There is complimentary email and internet facilities and wireless internet throughout the property. Dine on an ever changing feast of seafood and fresh local produce, themed to suit the season and complemented by the finest regional wines in New Zealand. Everyday dining at Raetihi Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds is informal but elegant and relaxed, the epitome of fresh New Zealand cuisine... 

A fitting finale to your Queen Charlotte Track boutique lodge experience! 

Day 4Raetihi LodgeFree Day

Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at Raetihi Lodge. We can arrange guided sea kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, golf or wine tours for those interested.

Day 5Raetihi Lodge to Anakiwa approx. 7 hours

Farewell Raetihi Lodge and ascend to the Queen Charlotte Track 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 Anakiwa Jetty and join Beachcomber Cruises back to Picton to compete your journey.

Itinerary

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

NB. A pre-tour briefing is conducted at our offices on Picton Waterfront at 5pm the day prior to departure. Please let us know if you are unable to attend for any reason.

We will collect you from your accommodation in Picton to join the boat trip with Beachcomber Cruises 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. Packs are to be checked prior to visiting to ensure no traces of our visit are left behind. 

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 Mahana Lodge, Bay of Many Coves approx. 4 hours, 12 kms

Farewell the Furneaux Lodge and continue the mainly coastal walk around Endeavour 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.

Head uphill towards the ridgeline and onwards to the Bay of Many Coves Shelter. Soon the bays and coves of the Queen Charlotte Sound are far below. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay before working your way towards Camp Bay and Punga Cove. Mahana Homestead is a five to 10 minute walk from 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 Raetihi Lodge approx. 8 hours, 22.5 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. Today is a challenging day traversing the ridgeline between Mahana Lodge & Raetihi Lodge in Torea Bay. Truly grand vistas abound round every corner - a wonderful reward indeed.Those who feel like a day’s rest are treated to a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Raetihi Lodge. We conclude our walk at Coshwed Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at Raetihi Lodge. 

Accommodation - Raetihi Lodge

Nestled in a secluded bay of extraordinary natural beauty in the Kenepuru Sound is Raetihi Lodge. Since the 1930s, Raetihi Lodge has built a reputation as one of the most popular destinations in the Marlborough Sounds. Extensively rebuilt, its accommodation and facilities are rated 4 star plus Hosted Qualmark with luxury and comfort set amidst the serenity and nature of the Marlborough Sounds. A water's edge retreat, Raetihi Lodge sets its own standards for gracious and unsurpassed hospitality. Rooms feature a fridge, mini-bar, ensuite, tea/coffee making facilities, bathrobe; all the comfort you'll need. There is complimentary email and internet facilities and wireless internet throughout the property. Dine on an ever changing feast of seafood and fresh local produce, themed to suit the season and complemented by the finest regional wines in New Zealand. Everyday dining at Raetihi Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds is informal but elegant and relaxed, the epitome of fresh New Zealand cuisine... 

A fitting finale to your Queen Charlotte Track boutique lodge experience! 

Day 4Raetihi LodgeFree Day

Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at Raetihi Lodge. We can arrange guided sea kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, golf or wine tours for those interested.

Day 5Raetihi Lodge to Anakiwa approx. 7 hours

Farewell Raetihi Lodge and ascend to the Queen Charlotte Track 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 Anakiwa Jetty and join Beachcomber Cruises back to Picton to compete your journey.

Similar Tours

5 Day Queen Charlotte Track Deluxe Guided Walk
5 Day Queen Charlotte Track Deluxe Guided Walk

Read more

Routeburn Track Independent Walk
Routeburn Track Independent Walk

Read more

Rakiura Track Independent Walk Package
Rakiura Track Independent Walk Package

Read more

5 Day Standard Queen Charlotte Track Portage Resort Independent Walk
5 Day Standard Queen Charlotte Track Portage Resort Independent Walk

Read more