On Day One and Day Two you’ll walk the Queen Charlotte Track (as per our Four Day Guided Walk) – taking in the sights at historic Ship Cove, and admiring the spectacular views along the way. Then on Day Three you’ll be whisked away by water taxi to Torea Bay, where you’ll kayak in the turquoise waters of the Kenepuru Sound, before paddling back to Portage Resort Hotel for the night. On Day Four you’ll paddle back to Picton via the Grove Arm, past golden beaches, and bush-clad shorelines.
Along the way, you’ll have a chance to see dolphins, and witness the endangered South Island Saddleback and South Island Robin in their natural habitat. Our knowledgable guide will ensure you see all the highlights…
Live it up at Furneaux Lodge, Punga Cove Resort and The Portage Hotel in hotel style accommodation with en-suite. Take in the unrivalled views as you climb the ridges and travel down to the shorelines of the many coves and inlets. Enjoy some of the beautiful bays, coves and inlets by sea kayak, and the best part of all – you don’t have to carry your pack. We can provide you with a light daypack and your luggage will be transported by water transport each day.
Approximate walking time is 5 – 6 hours.
Your trip begins with personalised eco-tour with our guides on board a Cougar Line catamaran. During the morning your guide will share their knowledge of the sea birds and marine mammals as you travel to Motuara Island in the outer-Queen Charlotte Sound. Here you may have the opportunity to see the rare South Island Saddleback and South Island Robin who have been re-colonised on to this island sanctuary.
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. As you make your way down into Endeavour Inlet, you will spy Furneaux Lodge, your first night’s accommodation. You will stay in twin share Studio Suites. Dinner will be served in the restaurant with a glass of wine.
Walking time is approximately 4 hours.
After a leisurely breakfast at Furneaux Lodge you may like to take a walk up to the waterfall and see the magnificent stands of virgin native bush. Re-join the track as it winds its way around the coastline to the other side of Endeavour Inlet. Prolific birdsong dominate the day as you walk through some regenerating and virgin native bush.
Your accommodation this evening is at Punga Cove Resort in twin share chalets.
Dinner is served in the restaurant with a glass of wine.
A water taxi will collect you from your accommodation and transport you to Torea Bay- a 30 minute boat ride back towards Picton. A bus will collect you for transfer over the hill to Portage Hotel foreshore. Here you will meet your guide (depending on numbers, you may have a different walk guide to sea kayak guide).
Our sea-kayaks are large and easy to paddle. Ideally you will be travelling in double kayaks so you can take turns to enjoy the view as you glide past! After a safety briefing and familiarisation with your sea-kayak, you will paddle from the Portage foreshore and spend the day exploring the many bays, coves and inlets of the Keneperu Sound. The bushclad shorelines of the sounds create a wonderful paddling environment. Your guide will enjoy sharing their knowledge of the flora and fauna of the area.
At the end of the day you will paddle back to Portage Resort Hotel. Here you will be able to catch up with the rest of your group who may have been walking from Punga Cove to Portage Resort Hotel.
Accommodation is in twin-share Hillside suites.
Dinner is served in the restaurant, with a glass of wine.
Your final day of fun and relaxation in the Marlborough Sounds.
By now you will be feeling confident and comfortable in your sea kayak and ready for another day of tranquil paddling. Paddling out of Torea Bay the day will be spent exploring the Grove Arm, a particularly beautiful part of the Queen Charlotte Sound. You will paddle back to Picton, arriving at around 4.30pm where you will meet up with the rest of your group.
Enjoy a final farewell get together at our base, while enjoying a relaxing drink and reminisce over the magic of the last four days.
Prices for 2013/14 season (valid 1 October 2013 to 30 April 2014)
$1745 per person (including GST)
Single Supplement – $410 per person
Our all-inclusive package includes:
- A personalised eco-tour experience
- Cheerful, informative guiding
- Wholesome, high-quality food, and a glass of wine with your evening meal (other alcohol can be paid for directly to the accommodation house)
- Superior Twin share accommodation with sea views
(Studio chalet at Furneaux Lodge, Upgrade studio unit at Punga Cove Resort and Hillside Suite at Portage Resort Hotel)
- Transport forward of luggage
- Supply of a light day pack & walking pole while on the trip
- Sea kayaking and safety equipment
- Your Queen Charlotte Track Land Co-op Pass
Rates are based on two people sharing an en-suite room. Single supplements apply if you are travelling on your own, and wish to have the room to yourself.
If you are travelling on your own, and are happy to share with another person, then we will endeavour to pair you up. However there is no guarantee of this occurring, and therefore a single supplement will apply in this instance.
Other dates may be available on request. Please send us an email or give us a call to enquire.
Upon booking we send you a detailed pre-trip information sheet which covers what to bring, arrival and departure times and so on.
However, if you would like to know what we recommend you wear or bring on the walk, read on:
- Strong (broken-in) walking shoes, preferably walking boots
- Sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Cotton shirts and shorts
- Good rainproof jacket (not just showerproof)
- Warm wool or fleece jersey/sweater
- Money for possible purchases
- Bathing gear
- Handkerchiefs – not tissues
- Casual change of clothes for the evening
If walking in early spring or late autumn we recommend you also include the following:
- Woollen socks, hat and gloves
- Warm wool or fleece pants
- Warm wool or polypropylene shirts
For the sea kayaking component of this trip we also recommend you have:
- Shoes that can get wet (we can provide these for you)
- Windproof jacket. We do have paddling jackets available which (while not waterproof) protect against the wind
When is the best time to walk?
The warmest months are December, January and February (summer); and the coldest are June, July and August (winter). In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC and in winter between 10-15ºC.You can check on weather conditions in New Zealand on the New Zealand Met Service Web site atwww.metservice.com
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:
- our mature knowledgable guides, who love to show you the secret places and highlights along the track
- customised eco-tour experience
- all meals
- upgraded accommodation
- pre- and post-trip functions
We believe that these added extras provide another dimension to this walking holiday, however we do appreciate that some walkers prefer to have more independence and therefore the freedom walk may be a better option.
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.
Are there Department of Conservation huts to stay in?
No, there are no Department of Conservation (DOC) huts on the Queen Charlotte Track. However, there are many other accommodation options available – including resorts, homestays and DOC campsites that you can stay at.
We have never kayaked before, can we still do this trip?
Yes, many of our clients have never sea kayaked before, but find it really easy to do. You may feel a little tired in your shoulders after a day’s paddling, but we do have plenty of stops along the way and the pace is gentle.
Do you have a question? Please fill in the form below or, maybe you want to check availability before making a booking?
If you are ready to book a trip, then please click the “Book Now” button above which will take you to our check availability page and book now page.
Sometimes it is easier to just pick up the phone and get the answer you need, in which case, please give us a call on (+64) 03 573 6078, NZ Freephone 0800 283 283, or Australia Freephone on 1800 007 083 anytime. We are usually contactable by phone from 8.00am to 10.00pm (NZ time) each day.