Hike sections of the Queen Charlotte Track with an expert local leader, weaving through some of the most awe-inspiring scenery of New Zealand’s South Island while learning about its history.. Venture from the historic site at Meretoto to the beautiful Endeavour Inlet where you’ll have the chance to explore the bay in a kayak or on a stand up paddleboard.. Wander along the coastline through gorgeous native bush and listen for the calls of fantails and bellbirds before arriving at the picturesque seaside settlement of Punga Cove.. The scenery may be wild but your accommodation couldn’t be more comfortable – rest your head each night in well positioned lodges with modern amenities.
With a soundtrack of bellbirds and a backdrop of the stunning Marlborough Sounds, hiking the Queen Charlotte Track is an experience like no other. Over four days you’ll join an expert local leader as you walk past secluded bays, picturesque coves and native forest, learning about the area’s Maori and European history as you go. But hiking through wild scenery doesn’t mean sacrificing creature comforts – end each day at fabulous lodge accommodation with modern amenities, a perfect way to recharge your batteries. In a country full of views to take your breath away, this corner of New Zealand might just top the list.
Breakfast Included: 3 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 1
Picton - Meretoto - Endeavour Inlet
Welcome to Picton! Hugging the side of the Queen Charlotte Sound, this seaside town is the jumping off point for your explorations of its famous track. Your adventure gets rolling with a 9am welcome meeting where you’ll link up with your local leader and fellow travellers, then it’s a 10am ferry to Meretoto, also known as Ship Cove. Be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins which can often be spotted swimming alongside the boat! Famed for being James Cooks base for his explorations of the country and a place of shelter for the Maori people, take some time to explore the cove while your leader shares its history. Depart Meretoto and begin today’s hike, climbing away from the coastline through untouched forests of ferns and beech – your leader will point out the fascinating and varied plant life as you go. Pause at a lookout point to admire views of the Queen Charlotte Sound, then descend into Resolution Bay and stop for a picnic lunch. Follow the shoreline over an old bridle path to the stunning Endeavour Inlet where you’ll have some downtime to kayak, stand up paddleboard or simply stretch out next to the water and relax. Later in the day, continue to your lodge accommodation and settle in for the night.
Endeavour Inlet - Punga Cove
Wake up to the songs of birds and prepare for another scenic day of walking. Skirt along the coastline through gorgeous native bush while your leader helps you listen for the calls of fantails and bellbirds. Pass by Big Bay, walk through shady forest to Camp Bay, then arrive at the beautiful Punga Cove in the Marlborough Sounds. On arrival, take some time to explore this small but picturesque seaside settlement and perhaps pop into one of the few local eateries for lunch with a view. The afternoon is yours to make the most of your spectacular setting. You may like to hire a kayak to explore the bay’s clear waters, or chill out and your accommodation and make use of the outdoor pool. Your accommodation has a wonderful on-site restaurant for dinner this evening.
Punga Cove - Portage Bay
Today is your longest day of walking and also offers some of the most jaw-dropping scenery – get ready to give your legs and your camera a good workout! Depart from Punga Cove and follow the ridgeline towards the Kenepuru Saddle. Climb to the Eatwells Lookout, taking in sweeping views of the Marlborough Sounds as your leader points out Cook Strait and the Kaikoura Ranges in the distance, then descend to the Torea Saddle. Walk the final stretch to Portage Bay, your base for the night. With remarkable coastal views emerging with every step, this is sure to be a day to remember. This evening, enjoy a well-earned three course dinner at the excellent restaurant at your hotel and take the time to reminisce with your group about everything you’ve seen on your journey.
Portage Bay - Picton
Enjoy a morning at leisure to enjoy all that Portage has to offer. You may like to rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard to explore the bay, or perhaps head out snorkelling to discover what lies beneath the water. Then it’s time to leave Portage Bay behind and take a short walk over the saddle to Torea Bay. From here it’s just a quick ferry ride to Picton, where on arrival your adventure will come to an end.