4 Day Queen Charlotte Freedom Walking Itinerary



Day 1 of the Queen Charlotte Track
Today begin the first day of a three day walk through the Queen Charlotte Sound. This is a freedom hike linked in with a water taxi service that will transfer your luggage between accommodations so you only need walk with a day pack. Starting on Day 1 with a scenic boat ride through the outer Queen Charlotte Sounds, you are then left to discover the history of Ship Cove.  In the 1770s, sheltered Ship Cove provided safe anchorage, food, water and timber for explorer Captain James Cook and his ship crews on five separate occasions and saw some of the earliest sustained contact between Mäori and Europeans. For the days hike expect great views over Resolution Bay, Tawa Cove and Endeavour Inlet on your walk along the track. 

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 Supplied Today –  You can purchase dinner and breakfast at the resort.

Accommodation - Furneaux Lodge - 1 night

Nestled at the foot of Mount Furneaux in the outer reaches of the Queen Charlotte Sound, this unique boutique venue is  set on 3 acres of flat land, surrounded by 2000 acres of virgin forest. This magnificent Marlborough Sounds accommodation is an exclusive bush retreat and eco resort, steeped in history. 




This gentle coastal part of the track provides a good opportunity for taking a leisurely lunch and stopping to enjoy the plentiful birdlife along the way. Punga Cove Resort, your accommodation tonight, has individual chalets set amongst the bush clad hillside providing stunning views across Endeavour Inlet. Perhaps you might like to soak in the spa or swim in the solar-heated pool before adjourning for wine and dinner in their award winning restaurant.

Todays Walk
Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove - 12.7km (7.90 Miles) 3 - 4.5 hours Easy well formed Track

Meals: A Packed lunch Supplied Today –  You can purchase dinner and breakfast at the resort.Accommodation - Punga Cove - 1 night

Accommodation - Punga Cove - 1 night

Set amongst stunning scenery in the magnificent waterways of New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds, this resort is the perfect retreat offering a range of accommodation styles to suit any budget. Explore the turquoise waters in our sea kayaks or visit nearby islands and cruise the sounds in search of playful Dusky Dolphins. The fully licensed restaurant situated to give breathtaking views of the entire Endeavour Inlet. 

punga Grove Marlborough Sounds



Day 3 of the Queen Charlotte Track
This section is the most challenging and rewarding of the track. Climbing away steeply from Punga Cove the sweeping views begin to appear as you walk along the ridge between the Queen Charlotte and Keneperu Sound. The track is very undulating and therefore can be challenging for some people. As in the old days, Portage Hotel is a welcome respite after a long day. The modern chalet-style units have all facilities required for your comfort and their restaurant is renowned for their barbecues and seafood.

Todays Walk
Punga Cove to Portage 24.5 km (15 miles) - 8 hours walking - challenging but rewarding

Meals: A Packed lunch Supplied Today –  You can purchase dinner and breakfast at the resort.

Accommodation Queen Charlotte Track - The Portage Resort - Hillside Suites

The Portage Resort Hotel is a contemporary, relaxing New Zealand resort and has been greeting guests to the Marlborough Sounds for over 100 years. The Resort  has rooms with spectacular views across gardens and the wide quiet bay of Kenepuru Sound. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and indoor spa, quality dining in Te Weka Restaurant.

The Portage Resort - Marlborough Sounds



Day 4 of the Queen Charlotte Track
On your final morning in the Queen Charlotte Sound, enjoy breakfast before ascending to the ridge-line track which provides wonderful vistas of the Sounds as you walk along. After Mistletoe Bay, the track sidles along the hill and drops down into Davies Bay before the last half hour through mature beech forest ending with the harbour of Anakiwa coming into view and so too does the end of the Queen Charlotte Track. Your water transport collects you and, as you travel back to Picton, you can relax and reminisce on the magic of the last four days.

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

Meals: A Packed lunch Supplied Today 


4 Day Guided Queen Charlotte Freedom Walk (self-guided)

Your Queen Charlotte Freedom Walk includes transfers, 3 nights track accommodation in 4 Star Lodges and packed lunches.

Please contact us for current pricing and availability

Departure Dates: Available Year Round

The track is open all year so, subject to accommodation availability, you can walk at any time of the year. Once you know your preferred departure date, contact us and we will check availability. It is helpful if you can also indicate other dates that are suitable around your preferred date, in case your first choice is not available.

Rates include:

  • Pre-trip information
  • Complete information pack for use while walking the track
  • Twin-share accommodation, as listed
  • Packed lunch each day
  • Water transport to the track, and water taxi transfer of luggage each day
  • Transfer back to Picton
  • Use our a base (including access to our hot showers, luggage storage, and internet access)
  • Your Queen Charlotte Track Land Co-op Pass

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, Boutique, and 5 Star Queen Charlotte Track options available. These tours can be either 4 or 5 days - Please enquire for further details.  

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.

What is the difference between the guided and freedom walks? The guided walks have some added extras that are not included in the standard freedom walk package, such as: a professional guide, breakfast, dinner and snacks.

What meals are included and what can I buy? A packed lunch is included in your freedom walk package. Dinner and breakfast can be purchased at the resorts each day. Each resort has a different style of dining and menu options, ranging from bar meals to a la carte dining.

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What Steve says about this tour: This freedom walk itinerary is highly recommended for independent walkers, who want to have a little more choice about meals and pace. Having your gear transported provides the bonus of walking with just a day pack!
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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