If you like the idea of walking the Queen Charlotte Track and sea kayaking the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, then this is the tour for you. Walk the first three days of the track from Ship Cove as far as Torea Bay then trade hiking boots for water shoes and explore by kayak. Each night come to rest at our handpicked lodges – Furneaux Lodge, Mahana Lodge OR Punga Cove, and Portage Hotel - all with great food on offer, comfortable ensuite-style accommodation and a superb setting. Be part of a small walking and kayaking group and enjoy gourmet food and wine, discerning service and the knowledge of our local guides. 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. Walking and kayaking – two great ways to experience the Queen Charlotte Track.
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 the historic Furneaux Lodge. NB. The visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – there is no shelter on the island (nor toilet).
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Mahana Lodge (or Punga Cove)
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 & 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. Five minutes on from there is your accommodation for the evening at Mahana Lodge.
Day 3 – Mahana Lodge to Torea Saddle/Portage Hotel
A challenging but rewarding day on the ridgeline between Mahana Lodge & 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 to relax at Portage Hotel. NB. Optional boat trip available to Portage Hotel today for non-walkers (additional cost).
Day 4 – Torea Bay/Portage Hotel to Picton
Farewell Portage Hotel and, after a safety briefing and once on the water, paddle in and out of the secluded bays and idyllic coves with your Wilderness Guide from Torea Bay towards Picton. Here bush overhangs the water's edge - forest green against the azure blue of the Sound. After a yummy lunch enjoyed on a secluded beach along the way, we either paddle into Picton Harbour or nearby Ngakuta Bay – paddle time is around four hours. NB. Actual routes may vary depending on weather conditions - we choose the safest and most enjoyable kayaking route on the day but plan to arrive back to Wilderness Guides HQ by 3.30pm.
Furneaux Lodge offers a range of accommodation depending on your requirements. The waterfront suites used for our Classic guided walk are contemporary one bedroom apartments, and are absolutely private with stunning views. Our standard independent packages stay in the Tobias Junior Suites, each with own ensuite.
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.
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 includes quality accommodation in Korimako ensuite-style units,all with water views.
|1||17 km||6 hrs|
|2||11.5 km||4 hrs|
|3||23 km||8 hrs|
|4||12 to 15 km||4 hrs|
|2022-2023 - 4 Day Gourmet Guided Walk & Kayak|
|October 2022||4, 11, 18, 25|
|November 2022||1, 8, 15, 22, 29|
|December 2022||6, 13, 20, 27|
|January 2023||3, 10, 17, 24, 31|
|February 2023||7, 14, 21, 28|
|March 2023||7, 14, 21, 28|
|April 2023||4, 11, 18, 25|
NB. On some of the above departures, our gourmet guided walk & kayak will stay at Punga Cove on the second night, not Mahana Lodge, due to availability and group size.
Special rates may apply for direct bookings. Please enquire.
Group bookings on different departure dates are available on request.
Click to view high resolution version of the Queen Charlotte Track map
DURATION: 4 days
Total distance: 51.5 km walk (33 miles); 12-15 km kayak (7-10 miles)
Minimum number of persons: 2
2021-2022 - $2090NZ per person (based on twin share); single supplement $495NZ.
2022-2023 - $2095NZ per adult (based on twin share); $1395NZ per child (sharing with two adults); single supplement $595NZ.
NB. The minimum age for this tour is 8 years old.
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