Stay a while and experience the best of the boutique accommodation of the Queen Charlotte Track. This five day independent walk combines all the best boutique lodge accommodation available in the Marlborough Sounds within access to the Queen Charlotte Track combined with luggage transfers, meals including daily packed lunch and Picton drop off/pickups. Perfect if you want to take your time to complete the track and to stay predominantly in smaller properties with an emphasis on luxury, personal service, local delicacies and conservation.
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
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 well-appointed luxury lodge, the No Road Inn.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Mahana Lodge
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. The delightful 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 Lochmara Lodge
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. Take the well-formed side track, off the main Queen Charlotte Track, to bring you to your destination for today, Lochmara Lodge.
Day 5 – Lochmara Lodge to Anakiwa
Depart Lochmara Lodge, returning to the main Queen Charlotte Track via the side track by which you arrive at Lochmara the day prior. 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.
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 guided walks stays in the Bellbird, Kotuku and Fantail units all with en suite and water views.
|1||14 km||5 hrs|
|2||11.7 km||4 hrs|
|3||23.6 km||8 hrs|
|5||TBC||5 ½ hours|
- 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 from 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 . . .
Click to view high resolution version of the Queen Charlotte Track map
DURATION: 5 days
Total distance: 71 km
Minimum number of persons: 2
$1895NZ per person (based on twin share)
Single Supplement: $745NZ
Day 1 – lunch/dinner
Day 2 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Day 3 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Day 4 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Day 5 – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Click to view Queen Charlotte Track gradient map