4 Day Boutique Guided Walk
Explore this vast network of drowned river valleys from the unique perspective of this well-formed track. Here lush coastal beech forest reaches out to greet lapping tides of ever-changing hues.
NB. A pre-tour briefing is conducted at our offices at the Picton Foreshore at 5pm the day prior to departure. Please let us know if you are unable to attend for any reason.
Day 1 - Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet (approx. 12km/5 hours)
Guided walk operator Wilderness Guides collect you from your accommodation in Picton to join the boat trip with Beachcomber Cruises to Motuara Island for a bird sanctuary tour en route to Ship Cove. Learn about the fascinating marine life of this area and, if we are lucky, see dolphins as well! Enjoy a short warm up walk on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary to the lookout – this affords spectacular 360deg views of the Marlborough Sounds – and see many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species. Arrive late morning at Ship Cove to begin our walk. This scenic & historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s. Experience virgin beech forest at its best plus stunning views throughout today’s walk. NB. Our visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – this is due to the fact there are no toilets or shelter on the island. Packs are to be checked prior to visiting to ensure no traces of our visit are left behind.
Accommodation - No Road Inn
Newly completed for 2008, the No Road Inn is a small waterfront lodge on the only privately owned land in Queen Charlotte Sound where the virgin native forest extends right to the sea. Your hosts Garry and Barbara invite you to join them at their new boutique property nestled at the foot of Mount Furneaux in Endeavour Inlet. Four spacious suites – the Queen Charlotte Suite, Howden Suite, Resolution Suite and Adventure Suite – await walkers, each with its own super king or twin bed, clawfoot bath and stunning sea and bush views. Set amidst 2000-year old giant rimu and kahikatea trees, the No Road Inn is an oasis for the hiker with a guest lounge, games room, theatre and private hot tub. Dine this evening on a three course meal of Marlborough fare with local seasonal delicacies including blue cod, greenshell mussels, New Zealand lamb and locally baked bread with olive oils; perfectly matched with a Marlborough wine of your choice.
Day 2 - No Road Inn, Endeavour Inlet to Mahana Lodge, Endeavour Inlet (approx. 4 hours or 12km)
Today's mainly coastal walk takes you around the inlet through regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other NZ native birds. Pause at the head of the bay to learn more about antimony & the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay before working your way towards Camp Bay and Punga Cove. Mahana Homestead is a five to 10 minute walk from Punga Cove.
Accommodation - Mahana Lodge
The clear waters of Endeavour Inlet stretch out towards bush covered mountains and often the only sound is the gentle lapping of the waves, and the song of the bellbird. Your hosts John and Ann have shaped Mahana into an oasis for the weary with its delightful and lovingly restored historic homestead where you dine on the veranda looking out into the bay to the purpose built lodge with four new ensuite rooms and shared guest lounge. Visit John's extensive organic vegetable garden, enjoy free range eggs and test your hosts' knowledge of the local flora and fauna - you won't be disappointed. Dine this evening on the deck, soaking up the beautiful views whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.
Day 3 - Mahana Lodge to Raetihi Lodge (approx. 8 hours or 22.5km)
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. Today is a challenging day traversing the ridgeline between Mahana Lodge and Torea Bay/ Raetihi Lodge. Truly grand vistas abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Those who feel like a day’s rest are treated to a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Torea Bay. We conclude our walk at Cowshed Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi for a short trip to our accommodation at Raetihi Lodge.
Accommodation - Raetihi Lodge
Nestled in a secluded bay of extraordinary natural beauty in the Kenepuru Sound is Raetihi Lodge. Since the 1930s, Raetihi Lodge has built a reputation as one of the most popular destinations in the Marlborough Sounds. Extensively rebuilt, its accommodation and facilities are rated 4 star plus Hosted Qualmark with luxury and comfort set amidst the serenity and nature of the Marlborough Sounds. A water's edge retreat, Raetihi Lodge sets its own standards for gracious and unsurpassed hospitality. Rooms feature a fridge, mini-bar, ensuite, tea/coffee making facilities, bathrobe; all the comfort you'll need. There is complimentary email and internet facilities and wireless internet throughout the property. Dine on an ever changing feast of seafood and fresh local produce, themed to suit the season and complemented by the finest regional wines in New Zealand. Everyday dining at Raetihi Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds is informal but elegant and relaxed, the epitome of fresh New Zealand cuisine...
A fitting finale to your Queen Charlotte Track boutique lodge experience!
Day 4 - Raetihi Lodge to Anakiwa (approx. 7 hours)
Farewell Raetihi Lodge and transfer by water taxi to Portage Bay. Ascend to the Queen Charlotte Track once again, enjoying stunning views. Open farmland and a grand native bush section to finish is a fitting finale. Today you return by boat from the Anakiwa Jetty and join Beachcomber Cruises back to Picton to complete your journey.
$2595NZ per person
- 3 nights boutique luxury seaview twin share accommodation with own private ensuite (No Road Inn, Mahana Lodge and SeaView room at Raetihi Lodge)
- All meals – restaurant meals (3 course) plus one bottle of wine per two each evening or alternative beverage
- Apperitif each night
- Packed lunch each day
- Guiding services
- Water transport to and from track
- Luggage transfers
- Queen Charlotte Track Land Pass
- Complimentary van transfers to and from water taxi & Picton dinner transfers before or after the walk
- Single room occupancy an additional $485NZ per person