Picton - Picton

Fly total time: 6 days

The Queen Charlotte Track is located in the top of the South Island, set amongst the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Marlborough’s mild temperatures mean the track is suitable to walk year round.

The Queen Charlotte Track is one of Department of Conservation's (DOC) Manaaki Trails, meaning it can be walked as a hosted journey with an experienced local guide. As a hosted journey visitors enjoy delicious food, quality accommodation and luggage transfers. 

Visitors also have the option to walk the track independently, staying at one of the many acccommodation providers along the track.

Most walkers will complete the track in four or five days, but it is possible to finish in three days. This itinerary will focus on the four day independant option. For clients who just want a taste of the track it is possible to enjoy a single day walk or overnight stay in one of the eco resorts, B&Bs, motels or luxury lodges along the track. 

Mountain biking is also possible for clients who’d prefer to explore the track on two wheels. However note the section between Ship Cove and Kenepuru Saddle is closed to bikes from 01 December to 28 February each year.

Part of the track passes through private land, between Kenepuru Saddle, Torea Saddle, Te Mahia Saddle and Anakiwa. Walkers and mountain bikers must purchase a Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Pass to access this part of the track. For clients taking a guided walk this pass will be arranged for them. If your clients are walking independently they will need to purchase it directly in Picton or from an accommodation provider along the track

  • Day 1: Picton

    Drive Fly 0
    Arrive in Picton and spend the afternoon exploring this charming seaside town by foot. Enjoy an evening seafood meal at one of the waterfront cafes and restaurants.
    There are several ways to get to Picton depending on which arrival city your clients are flying into. 
    From Auckland, take an Air New Zealand flight to Blenheim, approximately 1 hour 25 minutes. Then take a shuttle from Blenheim to Picton, approximately 25 minutes.
    From Wellington, either take a picturesque 3 hour ferry ride, with Interislander or Bluebridge, through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds or take a flight to Picton with Sounds Air, approximately 25 minutes.
    If your clients are arriving into Christchurch they can either fly with Air New Zealand into Blenheim, approximately 50 minutes. Then take a shuttle from Blenheim to Picton. Or catch the stunning Coastal Pacific train, which takes approximately 5 hours 15 minutes.
  • Day 2: Queen Charlotte Track

    Drive Fly 5 hours walking 15 KMS 9 MI
    In the morning depart Picton on a pre-booked water taxi to Ship Cove, approximately 1 hour. Some water taxi companies will transfer luggage between lodgings meaning your clients can simply walk with their day pack. 
    Take time to explore pretty Ship Cove and learn about the site’s history by reading the interpretation panels scattered around the beach. From Ship Cove the track climbs steeply through a largely unmodified forest, after approximately 50 minutes visitors will be rewarded with stunning views of the sounds at the lookout point. The track then drops into Resolution Bay where there is a DOC campsite and private cabin accommodation.
    After a short rest in Resolution Bay, follow a well-graded old bridle path over a ridge and into Endeavour Inlet. Accommodation options are available along the way or continue following the shoreline track around to Furneaux Lodge.
    Spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming at Furneaux Lodge and in the evening enjoy a gourmet meal.

    Recommended activities:

    Today your clients will walk from Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet, approximately 15km (5 hours).

    NOTE: Walkers completing the track in three days will continue around Endeavour Inlet and spend the night at Camp Bay or Punga Cove (approximately 26km total walking on day one).
  • Day 3: Queen Charlotte Track

    Drive Fly 4 hours 30 minutes walking 12 KMS 7 MI
    After a hearty breakfast depart Furneaux Lodge and follow the shoreline track around Endeavour Inlet. The track is mostly flat until it reaches Big Bay where there is a gentle climb around to Camp Bay. There is a DOC campsite here or if walkers follow the track for five minutes they will arrive at Punga Cove Resort.
    Relax at Punga Cove, swim or kayak in the bay or enjoy a well-earned beverage at the Boatshed bar.

    Recommended activities:

    Today your clients will walk from Furneaux Lodge (Endeavour Inlet) to Punga Cove, approximately 12.7km (4.5 hours).

    NOTE: Walkers completing the track in three days would hike from Punga Cove to Portage, approximately 24km (8 hours).
  • Day 4: Queen Charlotte Track

    Drive Fly 8 hours walking 23 KMS 14 MI
    The walk today is by far the most strenuous, the track is long with steep climbs and descents. Clients who do not want to walk this section of the track have the option of taking a water taxi to one of the accommodation providers in Mistletoe Bay.
    This section is best tackled by departing from Punga Cove early morning to climb the first saddle before the heat of the day. The panoramic views of the Sounds are nothing short of spectacular and will have your clients constantly reaching for their cameras. There are plenty of shelters and spectacular view points to stop along the way. Walkers will reach Portage in the late afternoon/early evening. There is a DOC campsite called Cowshed Bay or a full service hotel.
    Enjoy a scrumptious meal at The Portage Resort Hotel before turning in for the evening.

    Recommended activities:

    Today clients will walk from Punga Cove to Portage, approximately 23.7km (8 hours).

    NOTE: Walkers completing the three day option will hike from Portage to Anakiwa, where a pre-arranged water taxi will transfer them to Picton, approximately 21km (7 hours).
  • Day 5: Queen Charlotte Track

    Drive Fly 7 hours walking 21 KMS 13 MI
    Clients will depart Portage in the morning and follow the ridgeline over the Te Mahia Saddle. From here the track descends to stunning Davies Bay – a great place to stop for a snack or picnic lunch. The final hour’s walk is on an easy path through mature beech forest to Anakiwa. Enjoy a delicious ice cream from the Green Caravan or swim off the Anakiwa wharf before departing on a pre-booked late afternoon water taxi to Picton.
    Spend the evening in Picton.

    Recommended activities:

    This is the last day of the Queen Charlotte Track. Walkers will travel on foot from Portage to Anakiwa, approximately 21km (7 hours).
  • Day 6: Picton

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    Spend another day in the Marlborough region or depart Picton and fly home from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

    Recommended activities:

    • Take a shuttle to Blenheim and spend the day exploring the town centre.
    • Visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim.
    • Enjoy a half or full day guided tour of some of Marlborough’s finest vineyards and wineries.