Would you like to take a little longer to truly enjoy the journey – and treat yourself along the way? On this five day upgrade independent walk, we will organise your accommodation in superior ensuite rooms with guaranteed sea views, luggage transfers, daily lunch and Picton drop off/pickups. You can spend an extra night at either Portage Hotel or Lochmara Lodge to enjoy a day of well-deserved rest and relaxation. All you need to do is purchase your breakfast and dinner along the way. Each night you come to rest at a comfortable accommodation place – Furneaux Lodge, Punga Cove and with two nights at either Portage Hotel or Lochmara Lodge - complete with restaurant, fine wines and a superb setting.
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 Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet
We collect you from your accommodation in Picton to join the water taxi to Ship Cove where your walk begins. 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 historic Furneaux Lodge.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Punga Cove
Today’s coastal walk takes you from Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove 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 & 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, five minutes on from there, your accommodation for the evening at Punga Cove.
Day 3 – Punga Cove to Portage Hotel/Lochmara Lodge
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. At the end of today's walk catch the waiting water taxi to your night's accommodation at Lochmara Lodge or walk from Torea Saddle down to the Portage Hotel. NB. Optional boat trip available to Portage Hotel or Lochmara Lodge today for non-walkers (additional cost).
Day 4 – Rest Day
Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax. We can arrange guided sea kayaking tours for those interested. Lunch is not included today unless on an organised tour that has been pre-arranged.
Day 5 – Lochmara Lodge/Portage Hotel to Anakiwa
Farewell Lochmara Lodge or Portage Hotel and 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.
Punga Cove upgrade
Nestled amidst the native bush, Punga Cove’s well-appointed individual chalets have views to the bay beyond and are a welcome respite after a day’s walk. The restaurant where you dine for dinner and breakfast has an impressive view from its position high on a promontory over Endeavour Inlet. Your accommodation is the Weka or Kingfisher chalets each with a private balcony and ensuite.
Portage Resort upgrade
The Portage Hotel is nestled at the narrowest point between Queen Charlotte & Kenepuru Sounds with a wonderful view into Kenepuru Sound. This well-established accommodation place has a reputation for a fine restaurant and features natural timber chalets. This package stays in Kowhai ensuite rooms.
Lochmara Lodge upgrade
Set on the tranquil shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound, Lochmara Lodge features quality accommodation as well as aviaries and enclosures with endangered species, an organic vegetable garden and orchard, educational signage, sculpture trail and art gallery. Our independent walkers stay in the luxurious Kakariki suites, each with ensuite and view to the sea.
|1||14 km||5 hrs|
|2||11.7 km||4 hrs|
|3||23.6 km||8 hrs|
|4||Rest Day||Rest Day|
|5||20.5 km||5 ½ hours (Lochmara) 7 hours (Portage)|
- Add on Guided Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary Tour - $135 per person
This island reserve is located in the Outer Queen Charlotte Sound opposite Ship Cove and you will be delivered there by boat with your guide to spend 1 hour exploring the short walk, 360deg lookout views and wonderful New Zealand native birdlife including the rare South Island Saddleback (Tieke), little blue penguins in their nesting boxes, the cheeky robin and friendly fantails. After your visit here, you will be collected by boat again and transferred to the start of your Independent walk at Ship Cove.
- Add on First Day Guided Walk - $215 per person
For those that want the added value of a local guide who will attend to every need as well as provide full interpretation on the area, this is the perfect way to start your Queen Charlotte Track experience. Your first day is regarded as the premier section of the Queen Charlotte Track. Many beautiful views are to be had across the Marlborough Sounds. Your informative local guide will explain the European and Maori connections of this significant historical area as well as provide detailed information on flora and fauna along the trail and general track advice. You are then well equipped to continue on your way for the remainder of your independent track experience . . .
- Add on One Day Guided Sea Kayaking Tour from Lochmara Lodge or Portage Resort/Torea Bay on your rest day - $230 per person
Your guide will be with you for the day to answer questions, share pearls of wisdom and ensure your comfort and wellbeing. Depending on the weather, we will vary our route each day to take advantage of sea breezes at our back - we don't follow an enforced plan which enables us to cater for all abilities on the day.
On any given day, you have a good chance of seeing sting rays and eagle rays, a huge variety of sea birds including cormorants and sometimes little blue penguins, seals, huge starfish and if we are really lucky, even dolphins. And, don't forget lunch - we love our food and you'll be impressed at what goodies we can produce from out of the kayaks! Without a doubt, the best kayaking lunch on offer in the Marlborough Sounds and what's more, it is all sourced and made locally so you are truly supporting the local economy.
Click to view high resolution version of the Queen Charlotte Track map
DURATION: 5 days
Total distance: 71 km
Minimum number of persons: 2
$1095NZ per adult (based on twin share)
$470NZ per child
Single Supplement: $580NZ
$1295NZ per adult (based on twin share)
$400NZ per child
Single Supplement: $710NZ
15 May - 25 September. Click here to contact us
Day 1 – lunch only
Day 2 – lunch only
Day 3 – lunch only
Day 4 – no meals
Day 5 – lunch only
Click to view Queen Charlotte Track gradient map