If you would like to stay a little longer, our five day guided walk is a great option with an additional night spent at Raetihi Lodge. Enjoy a massage, relax with a book or use the complimentary kayaks and rest those weary legs for a while. This trip stays at beautiful waterfront lodges with superb accommodation. 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. After an exhilarating hike each day with a small group of fellow walkers, come to rest at the Furneaux Lodge, Mahana Lodge and Raetihi Lodge where you can enjoy a beautiful meal matched with fine Marlborough wine, all enjoyed in a stunning setting.
A pre-tour briefing is held the day prior to departure. Details will be forwarded with your booking confirmation.
Day 1 – Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge, 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 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.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Mahana Lodge
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.
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 – Rest Day
Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at Raetihi Lodge. Take a kayak out or perhaps you prefer rest and relaxation enjoying a luxurious massage at the lodge or playing 9 holes at the nearby rural golf course. 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 5 – 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.
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 independent walkers stay in the upmarket studio suites with private ensuite and views out to the bay.
Mahana Lodge is an oasis for the weary with its delightfully restored historic homestead and purpose built hiker lodge with four ensuite rooms and shared guest lounge. Enjoy free range eggs for breakfast and dine in the delightful conservatory. Your peace will only be broken by the song of the bellbird.
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||15 km||5 hrs|
|2||11.5 km||4 hrs|
|3||23 km||8 hrs|
|4||Rest Day||Rest Day|
|5||20.5 km||7 hrs|
|Month||2018-2019 - 5 Day Deluxe Walk|
|October 2018||all dates available on request|
|November 2018||7th, 15th, all other dates available on request|
|December 2018||5th, 12th & 17th, all other dates available on request|
|January 2019||3rd, 17th (Furneaux, Punga & Raetihi) & 27th, all other dates available on request|
|February 2019||7th, all other dates available on request|
|March 2019||7th, all other dates available on request|
|April 2019||4th, all other dates available on request|
|More dates available for a 4 day Deluxe Guided Walk
Click to view high resolution version of the Queen Charlotte Track map
DURATION: 5 days
Total distance: 70 km
Minimum number of persons: 2
$2925NZ per person (based on twin share)
Single Supplement: $635NZ
Day 1 – lunch/dinner
Day 2 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Day 3 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Day 4 – breakfast/dinner
Day 5 – breakfast/lunch
Click to view Queen Charlotte Track gradient map