Queen Charlotte Boutique Hiking Itinerary


Motuara Island Sanctuary - SHIP COVE - ENDEAVOUR INLET

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).

From Motuara Island you will cross the Sound to be dropped off at Ship Cove where you will begin your walk on the Queen Charlotte Track. Ship Cove is one of the most historic areas in the Sounds as it was one of James Cook's most popular destinations on his many world travels. The area is surrounded by bountiful virgin bush and the walk to the top of the ridge provides spectacular views. 

Todays Walk
Ship Cove to Resolution Bay - 4.5km (2.7 Miles) 1.5 Hours Walking - Undulating Tracks
Resolution Bay to Endeavour Inlet - 10km (6.2 Miles) 2.5 Hours Walking - Undulating Tracks

Meals: A packed lunch is supplied today and 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.

Accommodation - No Road Inn - 1 night 

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 a night during stay in the Queen Charlotte Sound. The Inn offers quality accommodation, a superb wine list, and mouthwatering cuisine.
The No road Inn



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.

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.

Todays Walk: No Road Inn to Mahana Lodge - 12.7km (7.90 Miles) 3 - 4.5 hours on an easy well formed Track

Meals: Breakfast, a packed lunch is supplied today and dinner will be served on the deck, taking in the beautiful views whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.

Accommodation: Mahana Lodge - 1 night 

Mahana Lodge is nestled in the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, on the Queen Charlotte Track. This modern beach front lodge bed and breakfast accommodation caters for people who enjoy peace and tranquillity and the special things that nature has to offer. This delightfully restored historic homestead and purpose built hiker lodge with four ensuite rooms and shared guest lounge.
Marlborough Sounds



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 Cowshed Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at Raetihi Lodge.

Todays Walk: Camp Bay to Portage Bay 24.5 km (15 miles) - 8 hours walking - challenging but rewarding

Meals: Breakfast, a packed lunch is supplied today and 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. 

Accommodation: Raetihi Lodge - 1 Night 

Enjoy the perfect escape at Raetihi Lodge, nestled in the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Extensively rebuilt, this Boutique luxury lodge offers comfort amidst the serenity and nature of the Sounds. The lodge features 8 Seaview rooms, all having their own deck, they are perfect for relaxing in the peaceful Sounds atmosphere. Raetihi’s Restaurant has fabulous views over the water, and offers quality meals using fresh local produce prepared by our chefs.
Raetihi Lodge Marlborough Sounds



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 by late afternoon.

Todays Walk: Portage to Picton  20km (13 Miles) - 7 hours walking

Meals: Breakfast and a packed lunch is supplied today.


How fit do you have to be to walk the track? The track is regarded as a “long” track not a “steep” track. Therefore distances each day, particularly on the third and fourth day are long, but if you are moderately fit you should be able to achieve this walk. We do recommend that to enjoy the trip you are of at least average fitness. Fitness levels vary amongst every individual, therefore we suggest that – as a guideline – if you are walking for at least an hour (maybe two) more than four times a week, you should be able to thoroughly enjoy this trip.

Do we have to carry a big pack? No. It doesn’t matter if you are freedom or guided walking, you only ever have to carry a light day pack because your luggage is transferred each day by water taxi.

Other options available: We have Standard, Guided, Freedom Walk (unguided), Boutique, and 5 Star Queen Charlotte Track options available. These tours can be either 4 or 5 days - Please enquire for further details.  

What makes this tour stand out is the boutique lodge accommodation with high-quality evening feasts. You will water taxi into boat-access only lodges, tucked into picturesque bays. Your guide will explain the history, flora, and fauna while you soak up the extraordinary scenery.
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Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price