Triple Treat at Queen Charlotte Track
“There are many ways to enjoy New Zealand’s spectacular Queen Charlotte Track”, writes Justin Walker in an article on Australian Geographic. Walker himself walked the first part, pedalled the middle section and finished off with a glorious sea kayak journey.
The 70km-long track between Ship Cove at the northern point and Anakiwa at the southern end takes you through forest and along high ridgelines that offer brilliant views over Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru sounds.
On his first day Walker took a water taxi, accompanied by a pod of dolphins to Ship Cove, which reminds of a tropical paradise “nestled at the base of a steep hill that is absolutely smothered in lush, dense, green vegetation”.
Surrounded only by the occasional chirp of birds and the low whisper of the sea breeze Walker felt like he was the only person left on the planet while hiking the first leg of the track (14km) to the Furneaux Lodge, where he stayed the first night.
The next day Walker took another water taxi across to the other side of Endeavour Inlet at Punga Cove to start the second leg of the track where he was joined by Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company guide Craig Tweedy.
“The bikes gave them the chance to cover distance more quickly, while offering the advantage of being able to spend more time at the many lookout points along the way” writes Walker.
The views became more and more dramatic the closer they got to the second stop of his adventure – at one point they had both Kenepuru Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound in view at the same time.
The lodge itself is located directly at the water, which made it the perfect place to start the third leg of Walker’s Queen Charlotte Adventure.
In their kayaks the group explored secluded sections of the coastline, checked out the unique coastal rock formation, carved by the sea over millennia, and watched for fish, dolphins and explored secluded other marine life.
Once arrived in Anakiwa, a third water taxi transported Walker back to Picton.
One big advantage of hiking the Queen Charlotte Track is that you can have your luggage transferred between each leg of the track.
“With the myriad attractions and relaxing ambience of the track and its surrounds, it was as if time had ceased to matter,” writes Walker.
Article Source: Australian Geographic, Justin Walker, November 24, 2015
Image Source: Wikipedia