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4
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 1 night motel, 3 nights lodge
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 4 Lunches
  • 3 Breakfasts

Price

5 daysfrom

$2190NZD

Trip Code: GQE

Trip highlights


  • Hike the full Queen Charlotte Track over four days in a small group with a knowledgeable guide
  • Scenic boat trip along Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Visit Motuara Island for a chance to spot some of New Zealand's rare bird and reptile species (weather dependent)
  • Enjoy a comfortable bed and hot shower in scenic locations after a day on the trail
  • Varied walking along shorelines and up onto ridge tops, through native forest and with panoramic views
  • Visit Meretoto/Ship Cove, significant as a landing place and safe haven for explorers in both Maori and European history

Whether you subscribe to the Maori legends or geological processes that formed the Marlborough Sounds, its network of sunken river valleys, islands and maze of peaks, intricate bays, coves and beaches is truly unique in New Zealand. There is no better way to learn some of its history while taking in the superb natural beauty of the region than by exploring the Queen Charlotte Track on foot. Walk the entire length of this meandering 70 km multi-use trail with a guide to take care of your needs and share local knowledge. Stay each night in cosy lodges with fine food, hot showers and a comfortable bed. The views are superb, the vegetation is diverse and the walking varies from low level coastline to moderate ridgelines no higher than 500m above sea level. Access to the track relies on the cooperation of local landowners as the track crosses a combination of private land and public nature reserves. It is a privilege to visit this land. Water taxi transfers to and from the trailheads add a different perspective to the experience and allow opportunity to spot marine wildlife such as seals, dolphins, penguins and albatross.


Itinerary

Make your own way to Picton, the gateway to Marlborough Sounds, and check-in to your accommodation any time after 2:00pm. Take some time to stroll along the waterfront of this picturesque seaside town with its sheltered harbour and bustling marina, or take one of several short walks through native bushland for fabulous views over Queen Charlotte Sound. There are many great cafes, restaurants and galleries plus an aquarium and floating maritime museum. An important trip briefing will occur in the late afternoon/ evening (details will be provided on confirmation of your booking).

Meals:  Nil

You will be collected this morning from your accommodation and transferred to the Picton marina for the scenic water taxi journey to Motuara Island, departing around 8:00am (subject to change and weather dependent). The island is predator free and is a sanctuary to many endangered native species such as the South Island Saddleback (Tieke) and the Marlborough green gecko. A track on the island leads to a lookout with superb views of Queen Charlotte Sound. After a short walk here, transfer again by water taxi to Ship Cove. Considered one of the most important meeting places between New Zealand Maori and Europeans, the site is a historical reserve. It was a significant place of habitation for local Maori as well as the place where Captain Cook first stepped ashore, and subsequently anchored many times during the 1770's, while exploring the New Zealand coastline. The Queen Charlotte Track commences from here with a gradual steady climb through native bush, including spectacular podocarp and beech forest. With wonderful views and sections of untouched native forest today is considered the finest section of the whole track. Historic Furneaux Lodge is a fitting destination for a fantastic day, and is also your accommodation for tonight.

Meals:  L,D

Enjoy a leisurely start this morning as today’s walk is shorter and easier than yesterday. From Furneaux Lodge the track follows the coastline all day, with lovely views of the inlet as you trace its shore. Passing through nature reserve, regenerating native forest and farmland there is also some history along the way. Fascinating stories from your guide at the head of Endeavour Inlet describe local antimony mining operations that burgeoned in the 1880's. Passing the small beach at Camp Bay, arrive at Punga Cove Resort where you spend the night. Relax with a delicious dinner and a glass of wine at the end of another wonderful day.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start will be necessary today to make the most of every moment as it is the longest day on the whole track. It is also the most challenging but has the most spectacular views, which makes the effort worthwhile. Starting near sea level and eventually reaching the highest point on the trail (475m above sea level) there are some steep sections as you traverse the ridgeline. Be sure to stop frequently for photos and breathe in far-reaching panoramas of Marlborough Sounds at every turn. This is truly a magic section of the track. From Torea Bay Saddle near the end of the day, the track drops down to your accommodation tonight at Portage Hotel. Surrounded by native bush and with more superb views over Kenepuru Sound from your room and the restaurant, the day is complete. Optional add-on: your guide can arrange a boat trip from Punga Cove Resort to Torea Bay, from where you can walk to Portage Hotel (about 30 mins) if you don't feel like walking much today (additional cost applies).

Meals:  B,L,D

Ascend from the Portage Hotel to the main track on the ridgeline once again this morning. There is a steep climb for a couple of hours from here but once again the views are rewarding as you look towards Picton. This is the steepest part of the trail today and beyond this the walk mostly descends to sea level, with a few undulations along the way. Pass through manuka scrub, open farmland and a final stretch of beautiful beech forest. A picturesque beach in the sheltered Davies Bay provides an opportune place for a last rest before arriving at Anakiwa, the end of the Queen Charlotte Track. Reflect on the last four amazing days while you wait for your water taxi to whisk you back to Picton, arriving in the late afternoon. Farewell your guide on arrival at the Picton waterfront, where trip arrangements end.

Meals:  B,L

Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.



Inclusions

  • 1 night motel accommodation in Picton (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 3 nights comfortable lodge along the Queen Charlotte Track (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Drinking water
  • Daily luggage transfer - 1 bag/small suitcase per person, must NOT exceed 15kg in weight
  • Professional knowledgeable guide
  • Scenic water taxi transfers between Picton and Queen Charlotte Track trailheads (Ships Cove, Anakiwa)
  • A visit to Motuara Island Scenic Reserve / Bird Sanctuary
  • Transfer from hotel in Picton to marina on first day of walk
  • Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Track Pass
  • Excess luggage storage if required (or your hotel in Picton can also arrange this)

  • Travel to/from Picton before/after the trip
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks other than water - good drinking water is available at each night's accommodation and at marked locations along the trail
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades (such as additional water taxi transfers)
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Daypack (there are limited numbers of 30 - 35L daypacks available to hire (additional cost applies). Please request in advance.
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface


Accommodation


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
4

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE - GRADE 4 These trips involve a combination of what is described in our Introductory and Moderate levels. The emphasis is on introductory activity with several moderate stages. These adventures involve walking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. Walking each day is over hilly and occasionally steep terrain. Care needs to be taken as there are some steep sections that have a clay surface and are slippery when wet. A very good level of fitness is required and your preparation should include climbing and descending stairs, hills or sand dunes on uneven terrain. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise - swimming, cycling, jogging, stair or hill walking - three to four times a week for three months prior to your journey. During the walking stages you will need to carry your daily requirements such as water, lunch, spare clothing and personal items.


Departure dates


Notes

H
High Season
Note:
Private groups and custom itineraries can be arranged for minimum 2 people (Oct - Apr) and minimum 4 people (May - Sep), subject to availability. Prices may vary depending on time of year and group size.

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

Total Priceper person from

$2190NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • High season supplement - single room (Dec - Apr)NZD$70
  • Single SupplementNZD$640
  • Child sharing with 2 adultsNZD$1420
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Queen Charlotte Guided Explorer trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.

Kaitiakitanga

A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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