Tucked away at the top of the South Island is the Marlborough Sounds.
The Queen Charlotte Track is New Zealand’s most diverse coastal walk set in the geologically unique Marlborough Sounds. This breath-taking walk can be done with luggage transfers, comfortable accommodation in small, upmarket lodges and fantastic food: all the requirements for a walking holiday in style and a bucket list great New Zealand walk.
Stretching from historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa, this undulating trail features remnants of virgin native bush with a sea view around almost every corner. Known as a maritime and eco-tour haven, The Queen Charlotte Track is popular all year round with hikers, trekkers, mountain bikers, adventure seekers, family groups and eco-tourists. This track offers walking at its most civilised with all the comforts of home.
Why you’ll love this great New Zealand walk
The track options are many and we can organise the perfect walk to suit your fitness level and tastes.
The Queen Charlotte Track is 70 km long and most people walk the track over four days, although we can organise any combination of walks and boat trips over one to five days: the choice is yours.
One of the great things about the Queen Charlotte Track is the option to catch a water taxi if you decide not to walk, and you only need to carry a day pack; your luggage is transported by water taxi each day.
If walking what many call the finest and most diverse coastal track in New Zealand with everything provided, including gourmet food and wine, the knowledge and safety of a professional local guide and comfortable accommodation, then this is the walk is for you.
That’s what I call a great New Zealand walk
From fern-fringed bays and lush green forest to stunning skyline vistas, it’s easy to see why the Queen Charlotte Track Walkway is heralded as one of our premier walking tracks.
Independent or guided one-day to multi-day walking packages of the Queen Charlotte Track with all meals, daily luggage transfers, accommodation and water taxi transfers; let us organise it all for you.
The boat from Picton transports you to the track’s beginning at the scenic and historic reserve of Ship Cove, an area steeped in both Maori and European history.
The Marlborough Sounds consists of three main bodies of water (Pelorus, Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds) and a number of secluded bays, coves and sandy inlets.
The walking track runs almost the entire length of the Queen Charlotte Sound, from Ship Cove to Anakiwa over 70km.
The terrain is considered undulating, with hills rising from sea level to 400 metres at the highest point.
Queen Charlotte Walk – Possible Package
Walk the Queen Charlotte Track on your own, yet have all transport, evening meals, breakfasts, packed lunches, accommodation and daily luggage transfers booked and prearranged: this is an option we can put together for you. Simply, call Michelle at Bucket List Travel on 09 426 1490 and give us your dates.
Experience the grandeur of ridge-top views over the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds, lush coastal forest and a good day’s walk followed by a hot shower, delicious meal and a comfortable bed at the end of each day.
Day 1 – Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet – (approx. 5 hours/14km)
From Picton, you can travel by boat to Ship Cove to begin the walk.
Accommodation – Furneaux Lodge
Built in the early 1900s and surrounded by New Zealand native forest, Furneaux Lodge comprises the original homestead, restaurant, bar and accommodation in a picturesque setting.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Punga Cove – (approx. 4 hours/12km)
This mainly coastal walk takes you around the inlet through regenerating native bush into Big Bay through Camp Bay and on to Punga Cove.
Accommodation – Punga Cove
Nestled amongst our New Zealand ferns and looking out across the water, Punga Cove’s well-appointed rooms are a welcome respite. The restaurant with its impressive ridge top view across the bay completes a perfect day.
Day 3 – Punga Cove to Portage/Torea Saddle – (Approx. 8 hours/22.5km)
A challenging day on the ridgeline between Punga Cove and Torea Saddle, you’ll be rewarded round every corner with views back to Picton and over both the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.
Accommodation Option 1: Portage Resort
Portage Resort has a fine restaurant, relaxed cafe and comfortable timber chalets. Relax, unwind and switch off from the rest of the world and enjoy being in a remote part of the Sounds.
Accommodation Option 2: Lochmara Lodge
From Portage Bay we can organise a water taxi to Lochmara Lodge tucked beside the water’s edge with its own sandy beach. Well-appointed rooms with sea views make this the wonderful place to enjoy your last night on the track.
Day 4 – Torea Saddle – (Approx. 7 hours/20.5km)
Wake up bright-eyed, busy-tailed and ascend to the ridgeline once again to rejoin the main track. A mixture of established native beech trees, open farmland and regenerating forest makes up this section of the walk. The afternoon sees an easy stroll down to Anakiwa where your water taxi will transport you back to Picton.
Not ready to get back to reality?
The five-day walking option has two nights at either Lochmara Lodge or Portage Resort. Take a well-earned rest day kayaking, exploring nature and art trails or just lazing away the day.