4 Day Gourmet Guided Walk & Kayak
- Duration: 4 Days (approx.)
- Location: Picton
- Product code: 4DGGW&K
Day 0 - A pre-tour briefing is held the day prior to departure. Details will be forwarded with your booking confirmation.
Day 1 – Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet via Motuara Island
We collect you from your accommodation in Picton this morning, introduce you to your Wilderness Guide and then depart on the boat trip to Motuara Island for a tour en route to Ship Cove. Learn about the fascinating marine life of this area along the way and, if we are lucky, see dolphins as well! Enjoy a short walk on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary to the lookout – this affords spectacular 360 degree views of the Marlborough Sounds – and see many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species including the South Island Saddleback (Tieke).
Arrive late morning at Ship Cove to begin the Queen Charlotte Track. This scenic and historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s as well as being a site of significance for local Maori. Bush is mainly a mixture of stunning podocarp and beech forest with punga ferns and other New Zealand native foliage. This day is regarded as the premier section of the Queen Charlotte Track. Your walk concludes at the historic Furneaux Lodge. NB. The visit to Motuara Island is weather dependent – as there are no toilets or shelter on the island.
Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Mahana Lodge
Today’s coastal walk takes you from Furneaux Lodge to Mahana Lodge through mostly regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other New Zealand native birds. From Furneaux Lodge, the track continues through native bush and over a small swing bridge to the head of Endeavour Inlet. Pause there to learn more about antimony & the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay where pristine native beech forest awaits before working your way towards Camp Bay and past Punga Cove, five minutes on from there, your accommodation for the evening at Mahana Lodge.
Day 3 – Mahana Lodge to Portage Hotel
A challenging but rewarding day on the ridgeline between Mahana Lodge & Torea Saddle. Truly grand views abound round every corner – a wonderful reward indeed. Stare in awe at the sunken river valleys of the Marlborough Sounds from the iconic Eatwell’s Lookout. At different times you can see both the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as you walk. This is a truly spectacular section of the track. Those who feel like a day’s rest today can opt for a boat ride around the bays’ of the Queen Charlotte Sound. At the end of today, walk from Torea Saddle down to the Portage Hotel. NB. Optional boat trip available to Portage Hotel today for non-walkers (additional cost).
Day 4 – Portage Hotel to Anakiwa
Farewell Portage Hotel and, once on the water, paddle in and out of the secluded bays and idyllic coves towards the Grove Arm of Queen Charlotte Sound. Here bush overhangs the water's edge - forest green against the azure blue of the Sound. After a sumptuous lunch, we either paddle into Picton Harbour or nearby Ngakuta Bay – paddle time is around four hours. NB. Actual routes may vary depending on weather conditions - we choose the safest and most enjoyable kayaking route on the day but plan to arrive back to Wilderness Guides HQ by 3.30pm.