Take a bit longer to savour the Queen Charlotte Track, spending two nights at the lovely Lochmara Lodge. This independent walk combines a selection of the premier lodge and hotel-style accommodation available on the track combined with three course dining each evening, luggage transfers, daily packed lunch and Picton drop off/pickups. After an exhilarating hike each day come to rest at Furneaux Lodge, Mahana Lodge and then spend two nights at Lochmara Lodge. If you would like to take just a little longer and savour the journey with a rest day to put your feet up and enjoy a massage or soak in a hot bath, this is the trip for you!
A pre-tour briefing is held the day prior to departure. Details will be forwarded with your booking confirmation.
Day 1 – Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet via Motuara Island
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).
Arrive late morning at Ship Cove to begin the Queen Charlotte Track. This scenic and historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s as well as being a site of significance for local Maori. Bush is mainly a mixture of stunning podocarp and beech forest with punga ferns and other New Zealand native foliage. This day is regarded as the premier section of the Queen Charlotte Track. Your walk concludes at Furneaux Lodge where you enjoy a private dining experience and the very best ensuite units. NB. The visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – as there are no toilets or shelter on the island.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Mahana Lodge
Today’s coastal walk takes you from Furneaux Lodge to Mahana Lodge through mostly regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other New Zealand native birds. From Furneaux Lodge, the track continues through native bush and over a small swing bridge to the head of Endeavour Inlet. Pause there to learn more about antimony and the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay where pristine native beech forest awaits before working your way towards Camp Bay and Punga Cove. Mahana Lodge is a five minute walk past Punga Cove.
Day 3 – Mahana Lodge to Torea Bay/Lochmara Lodge
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. A challenging but rewarding day on the ridgeline between Punga Cove & Torea Saddle. Truly grand views abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Stare in awe at the sunken river valleys of the Marlborough Sounds from the iconic Eatwell’s Lookout. At different times you can see both the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as you walk. This is a truly spectacular section of the track. Those who feel like a day’s rest today can opt for a boat ride around the bays’ of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Lochmara Lodge. We conclude our walk at Torea Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at the iconic Lochmara Lodge. NB. Optional boat trip today for non-walkers (additional cost).
Day 4 – Rest Day
Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at Lochmara Lodge. Take a kayak out or perhaps you prefer rest and relaxation enjoying a luxurious massage at the lodge or soaking in the twin baths in The Bathhouse. There are plenty of short trails to explore with art nestled in the bush, hammocks to lie in and wildlife to learn about at this conservation-minded retreat. You can do as much or as little as you like, the choice is yours. Lunch is not included today unless on an organised tour that has been pre-arranged.
Day 5 – Lochmara Lodge to Anakiwa
Farewell Lochmara Lodge and ascend to the ridgeline once again via the private side track to the main Queen Charlotte Track, 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 to Wilderness Guides HQ by late afternoon.
Furneaux Lodge offers a range of accommodation depending on your requirements. The waterfront suites used for our Classic guided walk are contemporary one bedroom apartments, and are absolutely private with stunning views. Our standard independent packages stay in the Tobias Junior Suites, each with own ensuite. The Premier package stays in upmarket studio suites with private ensuite and views out to the bay.
Mahana Lodge is an oasis for the weary with its delightfully restored historic homestead and purpose built hiker lodge with four ensuite rooms and shared guest lounge. Enjoy free range eggs for breakfast and dine in the delightful conservatory. Your peace will only be broken by the song of the bellbird.
Set on the tranquil shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound, Lochmara Lodge features quality accommodation as well as aviaries and enclosures with endangered species, an organic vegetable garden and orchard, educational signage, sculpture trail and art gallery. Our premier guided walk stays in the very best Kakariki ensuite units with stunning water views.
|1||15 km||5 hrs|
|2||11.5 km||4 hrs|
|3||23 km||8 hrs|
|5||16 km||6 hrs|
|Month||2019-2020 - 5 Day Premier Guided Walk|
|October 2019||Dates available on request|
|November 2019||Dates available on request|
|December 2019||Dates available on request|
|January 2020||25th, all other dates available on request|
|February 2020||Dates available on request|
|March 2020||Dates available on request|
|April 2020||Dates available on request|
For specific dates please enquire.
Tips and suggestions to help you prepare for your walk in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.
The Marlborough Sounds and the Queen Charlotte Track is the ultimate place to hike and explore with Wilderness Guides as you follow in the footsteps of those gone before.Enquire Now