Like the idea of having your Queen Charlotte Track experience arranged for you, staying in superb accommodation but still walking independently? This independent walk combines the best lodge and luxury hotel-style accommodation available on the track combined with luggage transfers, all meals including daily packed lunch and Picton drop off/pickups. After an exhilarating hike each day come to rest at Furneaux Lodge, Mahana Lodge and Raetihi Lodge. If you would like a trip with an emphasis on luxury, personal service, local delicacies and fine wines, this is the package for you!
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 Furneaux Lodge where you stay in a lovely suite with sea views.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to 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, 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 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||20.5 km||7 hours (Portage Bay)|
Add on First Day Guided Walk - $220 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: 4 days
Total distance: 70 km
Minimum number of persons: 2
$1575NZ per person (based on twin share)
Single Supplement: $570NZ
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