Queen Charlotte Track - 5 Day Guided Walk - Boutique accommodation

If you would like to stay a little longer, our five day guided walk is a great option with an additional night spent at Raetihi Lodge. Enjoy a massage, relax with a book or use the complimentary kayaks and rest those weary legs for a while. This trip stays at smaller, more exclusive lodges with superb accommodation where you are likely to meet your hosts. Your track experience is made all the more easy by the Queen Charlotte Track’s unique water taxi pack transfer system leaving you to walk with just a day pack. After an exhilarating hike each day with a small group of fellow walkers, come to rest at the No Road Inn, Mahana Lodge and Raetihi Lodge where your hosts will prepare a beautiful meal matched with fine Marlborough wine, all enjoyed in a stunning setting.

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 No Road Inn, Endeavour Inletvia 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 encounter 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 well-appointed luxury lodge, the No Road Inn. 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/Punga Cove

Today’s coastal walk takes you from the No Road Inn to Mahana Lodge through mostly regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other New Zealand native birds. From No Road Inn, 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 and 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 Punga Cove. Mahana Lodge is a five minute walk past Punga Cove.

Day 3 – Mahana Lodge to Portage Bay/Raetihi Lodge

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. A challenging but rewarding day on the ridgeline between Punga Cove & 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 and transfer across Kenepuru Sound to Raetihi Lodge. We conclude our walk at Portage Bay and transfer by waiting water taxi to our accommodation at the beautiful Raetihi Lodge. NB. Optional boat trip today for non-walkers (additional cost).

Day 4 – Rest Day

Today is your chance to rejuvenate and relax at Raetihi Lodge. Take a kayak out or perhaps you prefer rest and relaxation enjoying a luxurious massage at the lodge or playing 9 holes at the nearby rural golf course. You can do as much or as little as you like, the choice is yours. Lunch is not included today unless on an organised tour that has been pre-arranged.

Day 5 – Portage Bay/Raetihi Lodge to Anakiwa

Farewell Raetihi Lodge, board the water taxi and transfer across the bay to Portage. Ascend to the ridgeline once again, enjoying stunning views back towards Picton as well as into the turquoise waters of the Kenepuru Sound. Open farmland and a grand native bush section to finish is a fitting finale after four days of walking. Take time for a photo stop at the picturesque Davies Bay – you won’t want the journey to end. Today you return by boat from the Anakiwa Jetty to Picton, arriving back to Wilderness Guides HQ by late afternoon.

Walking times and distances:

Day Distance Time
1 14 km 5 hrs
2 11.7 km 4 hrs
3 23.6 km 8 hrs
4 Rest Day Rest Day
5 20.5 km 7 hrs