Our 5 Day Freedom Walk -5 Days Walking Option allows the independent walker to enjoy walking the whole track at a more leisurely pace by breaking the last day of the track into two days. On this option walkers spend the 4th night at Lochmara Lodge, before walking to Anakiwa on the last day.
An alternative to this option you may wish to consider is the 5 Day Freedom Walk -Rest Day Option
Highlights of the track include stunning coastal views and continually changing landscapes as you walk from shoreline to ridgeline and around bays, coves and inlets. At the end of a long day you can relax and unwind in the comfort of hotel-style rooms with en-suite (at Furneaux Lodge, Punga Cove Resort, The Portage and Lochmara Lodge). You have the choice of dining in the restaurant or the bar. One of the other wonderful features of this trip is that 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.
The package includes your water transfers (including those wonderful daily luggage transfers) as well as a packed lunch daily – and you can purchase dinner and breakfast at the resorts – twin share en-suite accommodation, an information kit, map and base support.
Non-walking partners can enjoy this holiday also by catching the boat each day.
For those who might like to join a group, or prefer to have the benefit of flora and fauna interpretation as you walk, you may like to consider our guided walk options.
Approximate walking time is 5.5 – 6.5 hours.
Walking Distance: 17kms Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge
There is no better way to start your walk than boarding The Cougar Line catamaran in Picton and enjoying their award winning service en-route to Ship Cove. Ship Cove is of world wide historical significance being the one place that Captain Cook visited 5 times to re-provision his ships. As you sweep into Ship Cove you will understand why.
A steady climb out of Ship Cove provides unsurpassed views to the North Island. Follow the track down into Resolution Bay and through to Endeavour Inlet where you spy Furneaux Lodge with its broad sweeping lawns. This historic homestead has a restaurant and bar with chalet accommodation.
Approximate Walking time is 4 hours
Walking distance: 12.5kms Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove Resort
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 restaurant.
Approximate walking time is 8 hours.
Walking distance: 24.5kms Punga Cove Resort to The Portage
This section of the track 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 Kenepuru Sounds. The track is very undulating and therefore can be challenging for some people. The Portage 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.
Approximate walking time is 3 hours.
Walking distance: 8kms The Portage to Lochmara Lodge
Once again the track follows the ridge climbing up to the highest point on the track at 407m. From the summit you have unsurpassed views into the surrounding Sounds. Winding down the other side of the hill you will come across the turnoff to Lochmara Lodge. Following the Lochmara Lodge track to sea level (about an additional 1km) you will enter the Lochmara Lodge grounds and start to encounter local artwork and statues, of which you have plenty of time to explore later.
Approximate walking time is 6 hours.
Walking distance: 17kms Lochmara Lodge to Anakiwa
Once again, follow the Lochmara Lodge track back up to rejoin the Queen Charlotte Track. The track follows the side of the hill and then winds down to sea level where you will encounter some particularly beautiful virgin native bush which leaves you with a lasting impression of what must have been before man arrived.
The harbour of Anakiwa comes 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 five days.
We have endeavoured to provide a variety of rate options for you. All options ensure that you have twin-share en-suite accommodation, however the standard option only has sea views on the first two nights. If you would like to have a sea view every night, then we recommend that you take the Sea View option.
Please ensure that you let us know when booking which option you would like to have. We will do our very best to meet your request – subject to accommodation availability.
Rates are based on twin-share accommodation. If you are travelling on your own then single supplements will apply.
2020/2021 Season (1st October 2020 to 30 April 2021)
|Standard||Furneaux Lodge||Tobias Suite or Cottage|
|Cost per Person: $995 (single supplement of $435)|
|Sea View||Furneaux Lodge||Tobias Suite or Cottage|
|Cost per Person: $1080 (single supplement of $520)|
|Upgrade||Furneaux Lodge||Endeavour Suite|
|Punga Cove||Frond Suite|
|The Portage||Tui Terrace|
|Cost per Person: $1220 (single supplement of $660)|
|Triple Share||Furneaux Lodge||Cottage|
|The Portage||Korimako 2 bedroom|
|Cost per Person: $1025|
- 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 of Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company as a base (including access to our hot showers, luggage storage, and internet access)
- Your Queen Charlotte Track Land Co-op Pass
- Booking is subject to accommodation availability on the track.
- Dinner, breakfast and refreshment costs are to be met by you.
- As you are staying at licensed resorts they request that you do not take alcohol onto the property.
- Additional water transport costs, if required, are to be met by you.
- Upon arrival at our office you will be asked to complete a registration form.
- As you are taking a self-guided trip, you are responsible for your own safety and well-being for the duration.
- Any additional costs incurred during your trip, due to illness or accident, are to be met by you.
We understand that due to Covid19, Governments can unexpectedly impose travel bans that disrupt your plans. We have modified our standard terms and conditions to try and provide more flexibility, should you be affected by changes in government restrictions, while at the same time ensuring that we comply with the terms and conditions required by our suppliers.
Please note that we will be recommending, that should changes be required due to travel restrictions, you transfer your booking to a later date (within 12 months of your booking). There is no fee for change of bookings under these conditions.
Our payment, cancellation and refund policy is as follows:
1. A non-refundable deposit of $100 per person is required to confirm your booking
2. Full payment is required 30 days prior to departure date.
3. Cancellations received 30 to 16 days prior to departure date receive – 75% of total package refunded
4. Cancellations received up to 15 to 8 days from the date of departure – 50% of total package refunded
5. Cancellations received 7 days or less from date of departure – no refund
We strongly recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance. If you are living in NZ, we know it is not commonplace to take out domestic travel insurance, however the investment in your holiday with us can be substantial therefore it is worth considering taking out domestic travel insurance for this purpose. Companies such as https://www.covermore.co.nz/travel-insurance/domestic-travel-insurance are worth considering.
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.
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, 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
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.
Breakfasts range in price from approximately $15 for a continental breakfast, to $25 for a cooked breakfast.
Dinners range from approximately $20 for a bar meal to $50-$70 for a two course a la carte option.
Facilities are limited for you to self-cater (generally tea & coffee-making facilities only). This is dependent upon the style of accommodation you are using, please enquire for further details.
Is water available on the track while walking?
Drinking water is available at strategic places on the track. Please note however that this water is not regularly tested. We recommend that you walk with your own bottle that holds approximately 1 litre or more which can be topped up each evening at your accommodation.
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 website: www.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:
- a knowledgeable guide, who can ensure you see all the highlights
- a customised eco-tour experience
- all meals are included
- upgraded accommodation
- post-trip functions
We believe that these added extras provide another dimension to this walking holiday.
We recognise that some people prefer a complete walking holiday, sharing their experience with a group of like-minded people from all over the world and therefore the guided option is the best one. We also appreciate that some people prefer to be independent and walk on their own, or with their group of friends only, therefore we also offer a “freedom” 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 resorts, homestays and DOC campsites that you can stay at.
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.