Our 5 Day Freedom Walk – 4 day walk and a rest day 0ption allows the independent walker to enjoy walking the whole track, and to have a rest day at The Portage Hotel on the fourth day. During your rest day you may like to take a guided sea kayak trip in the Kenepuru Sounds to explore the bays and even get a taste of our local Green Lipped Mussels. Alternatively you could even take a wine tour in the Marlborough wineries, before walking to Anakiwa on the last day.
Trip Departure Time: 9.30am (summer), 9.00am (winter)
Trip Return Time: 4.30pm (summer), 3.30pm (winter)
Duration: 5 days
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 Hotel). 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.
Today you can rest and relax around the resort, or you can join our guided sea kayaking day trip in the Kenepuru Sound at $180.00 per person (minimum 4 people required) including lunch. This departs daily with a minimum of 4 people, or we can provide a guaranteed departure for 2 people at an additional charge of $40 per person i.e. $220 per person. If you would like to take this option on your rest day, or instead of walking on the last day, we are happy to arrange this for you, but the trip must be booked well in advance.
Alternatively you may like to come into Picton and join a wine trail for the day, exploring Marlborough’s fine wineries. We can organise this for you if required.
Lunch is not included on this day.
Approximate walking time is 7 hours.
Walking distance: 20kms The Portage to Anakiwa
Once again the track follows the ridge climbing up to the highest point on the track at 450m. From the summit you have unsurpassed views into the surrounding Sounds. Winding down to sea level 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 four (or 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.
2023/2024 Season (1st October 2022 to 30 April 2023)
|Standard||Furneaux Lodge||Tobias Junior Suite|
|Punga Cove||Koru Chalet|
|The Portage||Weka Room|
|Cost per Person: $1080 (single supplement of $585)|
|Sea View||Furneaux Lodge||Tobias Junior Suite|
|Punga Cove||Koru Chalet|
|The Portage||Korimako Room|
|Cost per Person: $1,130 (single supplement of $634)|
|Upgrade||Furneaux Lodge||Endeavour Suite|
|Punga Cove||Frond/Fern Suite|
|The Portage||Tui Terrrace|
|Cost per Person: $1,240 (single supplement of $745)|
|Triple Share||Furneaux Lodge||Cooks Cottage|
|Punga Cove||Mamaku Apartment|
|The Portage||Korimako 2 bedroom|
|Cost per Person: $1,095 from 1 October 2023|
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:
If walking in early spring or late autumn we recommend you also include the following:
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:
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.