Coastal Trails of the Upper South Itinerary

 

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1

Welcome to Wellington - the Arts Capital

Wellington is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, museums, theatre and all kinds of shops. Dance, theater and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. As New Zealand’s capital, this city is rich in political history.

A visit to Te Papa, New Zealands National Museum is most worthwhile. This spectacular waterfront building houses some of the most significant Maori and European cultural collections, with the sole function iof telling New Zealand's story, both pre-historical and contemporary.

Here are some sight seeing and activity suggestions while in Wellington:

National Museum - Te Papa     Visit Cuba Street Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve 

Wellington Cable Car   

Carter Observatory 


Accommodation: Wellington - 1 night

 

Accommodation:

Centrally located downtown with a stunning Harbour vista is Rydges Wellington. The hotel offers 280 rooms with modern facilities including free WiFi. There are also 19 apartment-style suites for longer stays. 


2

Fly Into Nelson / Transfer to Beautiful Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman Fully Guided & Catered 3 Day Kayak & Walk

Abel Tasman National Park
Golden beaches border the translucent turquoise sea, and sandy estuaries fringed by natural forests. The walking tracks here, both in land and costal, are world famous for their outstanding beauty. Walking and Kayaking and then just kicking back on one of the many unspoilt beaches you will discover along the way is what its all about. Plus you have the added bonus of face-to-face encounters with marine wildlife and birds. The Abel Tasman National Park is home to the ever-entertaining seal colony and who knows you may be lucky enough to spot visiting dolphins and Orcas playing in the Abel Tasman National Park waters.

This tour experiences the best of both worlds, you can kayak for 2 days and try 1 day walking on the Abel Tasman Coast Track (or Visa Versa or One of the Other) while enjoying comfortable accommodations and fine meals at the Beachfront Lodges each night.

Kayaking: The kayaking is suitable for all levels of experience, you don't need previous sea kayaking experience as you will be accompanied by friendly knowledgeable guides at all times on the water. 

Todays Planned Itinerary:

  • Transfer to Kaiteriteri from Nelson (1 hour) 
  • Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui – 1.5 hours
  • Walk - 2 hours (6 kms, 3.7 miles) including tidal crossing
  • Maximum elevation 60 m (200 ft)

( Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner)

Accommodation - Meadowbank Homestead Awaroa - 1 night

After a day in the Abel Tasman return to your own ensuite room and a hot shower. Over a fine 3-course dinner, swap stories with fellow travellers and be lulled to sleep by the sound of waves lapping golden sands. This is one of only 2 Beachfront Lodges within the boundaries of Abel Tasman National Park.

Meadowbank Homestead Abel Tasman

3

Awaroa to Torrent Bay

Another day, another picture postcard setting. This morning enjoy the short walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti where you can again relax on another sandy beach; this one however, is flanked by impressive granite headlands surrounded by unusual rock formations - perhaps a side trip to the Tonga Quarry historic site is in order. Bark Bay for lunch – relax or explore, sunbathe or swim. Your afternoon stroll enjoys a succession of magnificent views of headlands, beaches, estuaries, walking through lush native forest and even crossing a classic New Zealand swing bridge at the Falls River.

Kayak and Walk option: Walk to Onetahuti 1.5 hours, 4 kms (2.4 miles), Sea Kayak to Torrent Bay 4 hours 10 kms (6.2 miles)

Enjoy the best of both worlds with the option of both kayaking and walking. Walk from Awaroa to Onetahuti (as above). Kayak to the Seal Colony on Tonga Island where fur seals breed. Kayak through clear waters as you cruise past Tonga Quarry and Arches, A lunch stop at sheltered Bark Bay before continuing you continue beach hopping along the coast into Torrent Bay to be welcomed with refreshments and a hot shower in your ensuite room.

Walking Option: 6-7 hours 17 km (10.56 miles)

(Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner)

Accommodation: Torrent Bay Beachfront Lodge - 1 night

After your adventures are complete why not laze on the sun deck or feel the sand between your toes on the beach in front of the lodge or snooze in your own room or have a hot shower. Over a fine 3-course dinner, swap stories with fellow travellers and be lulled to sleep by the sound of waves lapping golden sands. This is one of only 2 Beachfront Lodges within the boundaries of Abel Tasman National Park.

Torrent Bay Beachfront Lodge

4

Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri - Back to Nelson

After breakfast depart the lodge by kayak at about 9.30am. We’ll stop for lunch and a rest at any one of the bays, before we continue our journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where our driver will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Nelson - arrival about 5.30pm.

Todays Planned Itinerary:

Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms)
Scenic drive Kaiteriteri to Nelson (1 hour)

(Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch)

Accommodation - Nelson - 1 night

Accommodation:
Six luxurious suites set in a park like setting provide a very comfortable home away from home. Large spacious villas, each with a bedroom and lounge area to relax in. Venture outside to soak up the atmosphere on the balcony where you are often joined by cheeky fantails, whilst watching weka and quails running across the lawn.
Pihopa Retreat Nelson

5

Marlborough Vineyard Tour / Picton

Enjoy this private 4 hour tour from Nelson to Picton where you are able to stop and admire the view on the way. You can choose to stop at the coastal village of Havelock or to take a walk at the pristine Pelorus River, or even stop at a Marlborough Winery for lunch as you pass through Wine Country on your way to Picton, gateway to the Marlborough Sounds.

Accommodation - Picton - 1 night

Accommodation:

Fine dining, exceptional accommodation and plenty of activities are available to guests at Kippilaw House, a Bed and Breakfast situated within Picton with a luxurious touch. This classic retreat is suitable for families and couples wishing to explore the Marlborough Sounds.
 


6

Ships Cove to Furneaux Lodge

Day 1 of the Queen Charlotte Track
Today begin the first day of a three day walk through the Queen Charlotte Track. 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. 

Lodge

7

Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove

Day 2 of the Queen Charlotte Track
This section of the track generally follows the coastline around Endeavour Inlet, much of which consists of regenerating native bush. Once farmland, this part of the walkway has reverted to nature and the forest is again resplendent and 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
 

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

8

Punga Cove - Portage Resort Hotel

Day 3 of the Queen Charlotte Track
Today you walk from Punga Cove to the Portage Resort Hotel along the ridge between Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sound. Spectacular views dominate the day as you negotiate the very undulating ridge between the two sounds. This section is considered the most difficult on the track and clients do need to have a good level of fitness to enjoy this walk.

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

9

Ridgeline Track - Picton

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 at Anakiwa where our van will collect you for your return to Picton. Approximate walking time is 6-7 hours.

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

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

Accommodation Picton - 1 night
 

Accommodation:

Fine dining, exceptional accommodation and plenty of activities are available to guests at Kippilaw House, a Bed and Breakfast situated within Picton with a luxurious touch. This classic retreat is suitable for families and couples wishing to explore the Marlborough Sounds.
 


10

Homeward Bound

Your trip ends here - choose to fly direct from Blenheim to Auckland - or continue south to Christchurch. Another option is to return across Cook Strait from the North and South Islands is one of the most scenic in the world. For one third of the crossing you cruise through the majestic Marlborough Sounds a haven of sheltered inlets, coves and crystal clear waters, giving you the full picture after just walking the Queen Charlotte. For visitors and locals alike cruising into the Sounds is breathtaking. The vibrant city of Wellington is just a three hour cruise across Cook Strait and a great little city to catch up on some shopping or just relax in one of Wellingtons cool little cafe's.

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy the 'Coastal Trails of the Upper South Island' and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.


 


What Shelly says about this tour: This is such a special part of the country. My clients leave this nine day tour with memories of beautiful coves, golden beaches, great days of moderately paced walking or kayaking and superb accommodation. A superb combination of activities.
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