5 Day Boutique Independent Walk
Like the idea of having everything arranged for you and staying in superb accommodation but still walking independently? Our Boutique Five Day Independent Walk combines the best boutique lodge and luxury hotel-style accommodation available in the Marlborough Sounds within access to the Queen Charlotte Track combined with luggage transfers, daily lunch and Picton drop off/pickups.
Day 1 - Ship Cove to No Road Inn (approx. 14km/5 hours)
We collect you from your accommodation in Picton to join Beachcomber Cruises service to Ship Cove where your walk begins. 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 of the Queen Charlotte Sound. Take time to explore the waterfall walk and the Captain Cook memorial and then set off on the track proper. NB. There is also an option to add on a guided two hour visit to the very special, Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary.
Accommodation - No Road Inn
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. Set amidst 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 to Mahana Lodge (approx. 4 hours/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, 15 minutes on from there, Mahana Homestead (past Punga Cove).
Accommodation - Mahana Lodge
Mahana Lodge is nestled in the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, on the Queen Charlotte Track far from the hustle and bustle of city life. 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 verandah 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! A stay at Mahana while walking the Queen Charlotte Track is always memorable . . . people search the world over for a respite such as this . . .
Day 3 - Mahana Lodge to Torea Saddle/Portage Bay – Raetihi Lodge (approx. 8 hours/24.5km)
NB. Optional boat trip to Portage Bay for non-walkers - at own cost.
It’s a challenging day walking on the ridgeline between Mahana Lodge & Torea Saddle near Portage. Truly grand vistas abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Those who feel like a day’s rest can opt for a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Portage Bay.
Kenepuru Water Taxi’s will meet you at Portage Bay and will bring you to 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...
Day 4 - Raetihi Lodge to Lochmara Lodge (approx. 3-4 hours)
You won’t want to leave but today you depart Raetihi Lodge and return to the ridgeline to continue your hike along the Queen Charlotte Track. Beautiful views are to be had back towards Picton and Queen Charlotte Sound and further into Kenepuru Sound. Take the Lochmara Lodge side track and wind your way down to your next destination.
Accommodation - Lochmara Lodge
Set on the tranquil shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound is the Marlborough Sounds’ only Wildlife Recovery & Arts Centre. Built by Marlborough locals Shayne Olsen and Louise Bright, since 1997 Lochmara Lodge has achieved national and international recognition as one of the best places to stay in New Zealand. Set in 11 acres, the property features aviaries and enclosures with endangered species breeding programs, organic vegetable garden and orchard, educational signage, sculpture trail and art gallery. It also now has its very own fully licensed café and restaurant, where the cuisine is based on sustainability. The cuisine is simple, rustic and full of flavour, using ingredients that truly give you a taste of this beautiful environment, the Marlborough Sounds. A fitting finale to your Queen Charlotte Track boutique lodge experience.
Day 5 - Lochmara Lodge to Anakiwa (approx. 5 hours)
Farewell Lochmara Lodge and ascend to the 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 Outward Bound wharf in Anakiwa by joining Beachcomber Cruises service back to Picton.
$1895NZ per person
- Daily departures from October to April subject to accommodation availability - min. two persons
- 4 nights boutique lodge/luxury hotel-style private twin share/double ensuite accommodation at No Road Inn, Mahana Lodge, Raetihi Lodge and Lochmara Lodge
- Meal inclusions: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included at all lodges. Beverages are additional at all lodges
- Water transport to and from track
- Luggage transfers
- Picton accommodation transfers to and from water taxi
- Queen Charlotte Track Land Pass
- Information pack incl. track guide
- Single room occupancy an additional $745NZ