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4 Day Queen Charlotte Track Kayak and Trek

26km (About 9 hours) walking; plus about 8 hours kayaking

Days
4

Pricing From
$2040

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

Popular with hikers and kayakers, you spend time paddling on the sheltered waters, your guide will explain the history of the sunken valleys of the Marlborough Sounds and point out the wildlife that we see.

English voyager Captain James Cook sailed into the calm waters of the Marlborough Sounds in the late 17th Century, and must have thought he was in paradise. Today you can follow the legendary 71km Queen Charlotte Track on a present day expedition following in Captain Cook's path. Following the Queen Charlotte Track allows you to 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. Each night we come to rest at a comfortable accommodation place. This is a luxurious lodge to lodge Queen Charlotte Kayak and Walk - sea kayaking and walking at its best!

Tour Grading: C

  • No hiking or kayaking experience necessary.
  • You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic.
  • 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 from 27 September 2019 to 26 April 2020 only. 

Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds

Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds

Kayaker in Marlborough Sounds

Kayaker in Marlborough Sounds

Kereru, the New Zealand Wood Pigeon on the Queen Charlotte Track

Kereru, the New Zealand Wood Pigeon

The Marlborough Sounds

The Marlborough Sounds

View from the deck at Portage Hotel on the Queen Charlotte Track

View from the deck at Portage Hotel

Sunset in Marlborough

Sunset in Marlborough

Love Marlborough

Love Marlborough

Saddleback on Motuara Island in Marlborough Sounds

Saddleback on Motuara Island

Hikers in Marlborough Sounds

Hikers in Marlborough Sounds

Ridgeline on the Queen Charlotte Track

Ridgeline on the Queen Charlotte Track

The Marlborough Sounds

The Marlborough Sounds

Overlooking Motuara Island on the Queen Charlotte Track

Overlooking Motuara Island

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Ship 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 2Endeavour Inlet to Punga Cove approx. 4 hours/12km

Today's mainly coastal walk takes us 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.

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 3Punga Cove to Torea Bay & Kayak to Lochmara Bay approx. 4 hours kayaking

This morning you will be collected by water taxi from Punga Cove & taken on a cruise around the Queen Charlotte Sound to meet your sea kayaking guide at Torea Bay. 

Your guide will take you through an extensive safety briefing and instruction prior to departing. Once paddling on the sheltered waters, your guide will explain the history of the sunken valleys of the Marlborough Sounds and point out the wildlife that we see.

Lunch is a picnic of Marlborough fare on one of the uninhabited beaches along the way.

Accommodation - Lochmara Lodge

Once discovered, Lochmara Lodge is never forgotten. This Marlborough Sounds eco retreat is set on the shores of Queen Charlotte Sound and offers accommodation for backpackers through to luxury units. The large property has its own extensive network of tracks with hammocks and other surprises round every corner.

The ideal spot for your final night on this tour - and to enjoy your guide's culinary skills with an amazing Kiwi gourmet BBQ this evening.

Day 4Lochmara Bay to Anakiwaapprox. 4 hours kayaking

Farewell Lochmara Lodge and, once on the water, paddle in and out of the secluded bays and idyllic coves towards the Grove Arm of Queen Charlotte Sound. Here bush overhangs the water's edge - forest green against the azure blue of the Sound. After a sumptuous lunch, we paddle down to Anakiwa to meet up with the rest of the walking group.

NB. Actual routes may vary depending on weather conditions - we choose the safest and most enjoyable paddling area.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Ship 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 2Endeavour Inlet to Punga Cove approx. 4 hours/12km

Today's mainly coastal walk takes us 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.

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 3Punga Cove to Torea Bay & Kayak to Lochmara Bay approx. 4 hours kayaking

This morning you will be collected by water taxi from Punga Cove & taken on a cruise around the Queen Charlotte Sound to meet your sea kayaking guide at Torea Bay. 

Your guide will take you through an extensive safety briefing and instruction prior to departing. Once paddling on the sheltered waters, your guide will explain the history of the sunken valleys of the Marlborough Sounds and point out the wildlife that we see.

Lunch is a picnic of Marlborough fare on one of the uninhabited beaches along the way.

Accommodation - Lochmara Lodge

Once discovered, Lochmara Lodge is never forgotten. This Marlborough Sounds eco retreat is set on the shores of Queen Charlotte Sound and offers accommodation for backpackers through to luxury units. The large property has its own extensive network of tracks with hammocks and other surprises round every corner.

The ideal spot for your final night on this tour - and to enjoy your guide's culinary skills with an amazing Kiwi gourmet BBQ this evening.

Day 4Lochmara Bay to Anakiwaapprox. 4 hours kayaking

Farewell Lochmara Lodge and, once on the water, paddle in and out of the secluded bays and idyllic coves towards the Grove Arm of Queen Charlotte Sound. Here bush overhangs the water's edge - forest green against the azure blue of the Sound. After a sumptuous lunch, we paddle down to Anakiwa to meet up with the rest of the walking group.

NB. Actual routes may vary depending on weather conditions - we choose the safest and most enjoyable paddling area.

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