This guided walk comes to rest each night at boutique lodges and a wildlife recovery and arts centre. If you seek smaller, more exclusive lodges with superb accommodation where you are likely to meet your hosts then this is the trip for you. After an exhilarating hike each day with a small group of fellow walkers, come to rest at the No Road Inn, Mahana Lodge and Raetihi Lodge where your hosts will prepare a beautiful meal matched with fine Marlborough wine, all enjoyed in a stunning setting. Your track experience is made all the more easy by the Queen Charlotte Track’s unique water taxi pack transfer system leaving you to walk with just a day pack. Rated as one of the best new trips in the world by National Geographic Adventure in 2008.
Day 0 - A pre-tour briefing is held the day prior to departure. Details will be forwarded with your booking confirmation.
Day 1 – Ship Cove to No Road Inn, Endeavour Inlet via Motuara Island
We collect you from your accommodation in Picton this morning, introduce you to your Wilderness 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 the well-appointed luxury lodge, the No Road Inn. NB. The visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – as there are no toilets or shelter on the island.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Punga Cove
Today’s coastal walk takes you from the No Road Inn to Mahana Lodge through mostly regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other New Zealand native birds. From No Road Inn, 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.
Day 3 – Mahana Lodge to Portage Bay/Raetihi Lodge
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 and transfer across Kenepuru Sound to Raetihi Lodge. We conclude our walk at Portage Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at the beautiful Raetihi Lodge. NB. Optional boat trip today for non-walkers (additional cost).
Day 4 – Portage Bay/Raetihi Lodge to Anakiwa
Farewell Raetihi Lodge, board the water taxi and transfer across the bay to Portage. Ascend to the ridgeline once again, 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.
No Road Inn
Nestled under Mount Furneaux next to Furneaux Wharf at the head of Endeavour inlet in the outer Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand, the No Road Inn is the perfect place for you to spend the first night of your Queen Charlotte Track walk, offering quality accommodation, a superb wine list, and mouthwatering cuisine.
Your hosts John and Ann have shaped Mahana into an oasis for the weary with its delightfully restored historic homestead and purpose built hiker lodge with four ensuite rooms and shared guest lounge. Visit John’s extensive organic vegetable garden, enjoy free range eggs and dine this evening on the deck, soaking up the beautiful views whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.
Since the 1930s, Raetihi Lodge has built a reputation as one of the most popular destinations in the Marlborough Sounds. Extensively rebuilt, our accommodation and facilities are rated 4 star plus Hosted Qualmark with luxury and comfort amidst the serenity and nature of the Marlborough Sounds.
|1||14 km||5 hrs|
|2||11.7 km||4 hrs|
|3||23.6 km||8 hrs|
|4||20.5 km||7 hrs|
|Month||2017-2018 - 4 Day Walk|
|October 2017||6th, all other dates available on request|
|November 2017||14th, all other dates available on request|
|December 2017||3rd (only 4 spots left) & 13th, & 29th (full), all other dates available on request|
|January 2018||5th (only 4 spots left), 25th, all other dates available on request|
|February 2018||15th (only 1 room left), 27th (full), all other dates available on request|
|March 2018||1st, 8th (full), 19th & 20th (full), all other dates available on request|
|April 2018||6th, all other dates available on request|
Click to view high resolution version of the Queen Charlotte Track map
DURATION: 4 days
Total distance: 71 km
Minimum number of persons: 2
$2595NZ per person (based on twin share)
Single Supplement: $500NZ
Child rates not applicable.
Day 1 – lunch/dinner
Day 2 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Day 3 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Day 4 – breakfast/lunch
Click to view Queen Charlotte Track gradient map