4
days

Queen Charlotte Boutique Guided Walk

The Queen Charlotte Track runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's Queen Charlotte Sound.The track is now well graded but was the culmination of various pioneer day horse riding tracks; a humble beginning for what has become an outstanding hiking trail.The scenery is surprisingly varied as the track meanders around bush clad bays and coves, then climbs to the hilltops of for incredible views, it is a comfortable walk and you only need carry a light day pack as your luggage is transported on to each nights accommodation by boat.

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Itinerary

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1
SHIP COVE TO ENDEAVOUR INLET

(approx. 5 hours)

You will be collected from your accommodation in Picton to join the boat trip with Beachcomber Cruises to Motuara Island for a bird sanctuary tour en route to Ship Cove. Learn about the fascinating marine life of this area and, if we are lucky, see dolphins as well! Enjoy a short warm up walk on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary to the lookout – this affords spectacular 360deg views of the Marlborough Sounds – and see many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species. Arrive late morning at Ship Cove to begin our walk. This scenic & historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s. Experience virgin beech forest at its best plus stunning views throughout today’s walk

NB. Our visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – this is due to the fact there are no toilets or shelter on the island. Packs are to be checked prior to visiting to ensure no traces of our visit are left behind.

Accommodation – No Road Inn

Newly completed for 2008, the No Road Innis a small waterfront lodge on the only privately owned land in Queen Charlotte Sound where the virgin native forest extends right to the sea. Your hosts Garry and Barbara invite you to join them at their new boutique property nestled at the foot of Mount Furneaux in Endeavour Inlet. Four spacious suites – the Queen Charlotte Suite, Howden Suite, Resolution Suite and Adventure Suite – await walkers, each with its own super king or twin bed, clawfoot bath and stunning sea and bush views. Set amidst 2000-year old giant rimu and kahikatea trees, the No Road Inn is an oasis for the hiker with a guest lounge, games room, theatre and private hot tub.
Dine this evening on a three course meal of Marlborough fare with local seasonal delicacies including blue cod, greenshell mussels, New Zealand lamb and locally baked bread with olive oils; perfectly matched with a Marlborough wine of your choice.

2
ENDEAVOUR INLET TO MAHANA LODGE, ENDEAVOUR INLET

(approx. 4 hours or 12km)

Farewell the No Road Inn and continue the mainly coastal walk around Endeavour Inlet through regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other NZ native birds. Pause at the head of the bay to learn more about antimony & the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. We walk towards Big Bay before working our way to Camp Bay and Punga Cove towards Mahana Homestead for a relaxing evening.

Accommodation – Mahana Lodge

The Endeavour Inlet offers beautifully clear waters that stretch out towards the bush clad mountains beyond. Take in the quietness of the area at the restored historic homestead that is Mahana Lodge; an oasis for the weary. Dine on the veranda with your hosts John and Ann or relax in one of four new ensuite rooms. Visit John's extensive organic vegetable garden, enjoy free range eggs and test your hosts knowledge on the local flora and fauna - you won't be disappointed! Tonight we dine on the deck, taking in the beautiful views whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.

3
MAHANA LODGE TO RAETIHI LODGE

(approx. 8 hours or 22.5km)

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. Today is a challenging day traversing the ridgeline between Mahana Lodge & Torea Bay/Raetihi Lodge. Truly grand vistas abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Those who feel like a day’s rest are treated to a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Raetihi Lodge. We conclude our walk at Coshwed Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at Raetihi Lodge.

Accommodation – Raetihi Lodge

Set in a secluded bay of spectacular natural beauty right in the Kenepuru Sound is Raetihi Lodge. From the 1930s this lodge has acclaimed a reputation as one of the most popular destinations in the Marlborough Sounds! It has been extensively rebuilt with accommodation and facilities rated 4 star plus Hosted Qualmark with luxury comfort set amidst the serenity that is the Marlborough Sounds. Dine on an ever changing feast of seafood and fresh local produce, themed to suit the season and coplemented by some of the finest regional wines in New Zealand. 

4
RAETIHI LODGE/COWSHED BAY TO ANAKIWA

(approx. 7 hours)

Farewell Raetihi Lodge and ascend to the Queen Charlotte Track once again, enjoying stunning views. Open farmland and a grand native bush section to finish is a fitting finale. Today you return by boat from the Anakiwa Jetty and join Beachcomber Cruises back to Picton to compete your journey.