DAY 1: ARRIVE WELLINGTON
Airport transfer on Arrival (if travelling with the group)
If you are flying with the group, once we’ve collected our bags we’ll be transferred to the hotel. If you are arriving independently of the group, we shall meet you at the hotel.
Check in at Ibis Wellington (or similar)
Check-in to your hotel room and chill for a while. Feel free to join the group, we’ll meet at 5.30pm in the lobby and head out to find dinner (own expense).
DAY 2 – WELLINGTON TO PICTON (B)
WELLINGTON – PICTON (B)
Breakfast is available from 7am at the hotel. Be packed and ready to leave the hotel at 8.30am for a half-day tour of Wellington. Our private guide and driver will introduce us to Wellington through the eyes of a local.
Experience the best attractions and must-see landmarks and get off the tourist trail. Take in a beautiful 360° view of Wellington from Mount Victoria, experience the rugged South Coast, and explore quaint villages throughout the city. Take a ride on the famous Cable Car, and sit back and enjoy Wellington City at its finest!
- View New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings, the Beehive and Old Saint Paul’s Cathedral
- Pop into the Wellington Museum
- Wander around the Wellington Botanic Gardens
- Ride the historic Wellington Cable Car (optional at own cost)
- Feel the breeze at the top of Mount Victoria
- Enjoy your personal tour commentary by your local guide
- Make the most of photo opportunities in and around Wellington City.
After the tour we will be dropped off at the ferry terminal to board our ferry to the South Island. The journey will take about 4 hours, be sure to be outside enjoying the beautiful scenery as we sail into the Marlborough Sounds late afternoon.
We’ll check into our accommodation and prepare our gear for our hike starting tomorrow.
You don’t need to take all your luggage with you on the hike, we suggest taking a back-pack to carry you daily items in eg lunch, water, camera, wet weather gear etc and a weekend bag to carry your spare clothes, wash bag etc. The weekend bag will be transferred each day to your accommodation.
Rest of day at leisure – the local pub is a great place for dinner.
DAY 3 – QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK (B, L, D)
Picton – Ship Cove – Endeavour Inlet (B, L, D) 15km, 5hrs trek (or 10.5km)
After breakfast pack your lunch and we’ll head down to the wharf to catch the 10am boat from Picton to Ship Cove. There are no roads that will get us to the track, so sit back and enjoy the beautiful views for the one-hour boat ride. Today we’ll walk 15km to our accommodation, with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the views
O/N Furneaux Lodge with two-course dinner in the restaurant featuring local produce.
DAY 4 QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK (B, L, D)
Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay (B, L, D) 11.5kms, 4hrs
Today is our easiest day on the track as we walk along the shoreline through to regenerated forest.
We will see evidence of the clearing of trees for farm land which started in the mid-19th century. The land clearing and introduction of non-native animals saw the ecology of the area damaged. It soon became clear that farming was never going to be viable in the Sounds and the land was left to regenerate. The forests grew back at a rapid rate so that we can enjoy the natural beauty of native forests again today.
We finish our walk on arrival at Camp Bay.
O/N Punga Cove (or similar) with alfresco dinner tonight.
DAY 5 – QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK (B, L, D)
Punga Cove – Portage Bay (B, L, D) 24km, 8hrs
We will start early today as this is the longest and toughest walk of the track. There is an option to take the boat instead, for a $40 fee (decide on the day). This is not a race we will take our time and take plenty of breaks in some of the most stunning locations on the track.
We start the day with a steady hill climb and will potentially look down at the cloud line below us – be prepared to take some spectacular photos. Today’s hike will see many inclines and declines as we follow the ridge line. In parts we leave the national park and enter private land, and if we are lucky we’ll meet a local farmer who will be keen for a chat as they go about maintaining the track for future generations. We finish the day at Torea Bay. O/N Portage Hotel. Dinner is served on the deck watching the sun set over the beautiful Bay.
DAY 6 – KAYAKING (B, L)
Torea Bay to Picton (B) Kayaking
We’ll give our weary legs a rest and let our arms do the work as we give sea kayaking a go. We’ll be met by our guide, receive a full safety briefing and lesson before we kit up and head out into the bays. Do not be concerned if you have not kayaked before, this is not technically difficult and it wont take long for you to work in rhythm with your kayaking partner. We’ll paddle to some of the most beautiful, serene bays on the Sounds and stop for lunch at a cafe on the water. Keep an eye out for wildlife both on land and sea. We’ll return to Picton late afternoon and transfer to Blenheim. O/N Knightsbridge Lodge Motor Lodge (or similar)
DAY 7 – WINERIES BY BIKE (B)
Get on your bike and ride!
For our final day together, let’s do something memorable – we will pick up our bikes and head along quiet country roads visiting vineyards, chocolate makers, brewers and more with the Wither Hills ranges as a dramatic back-drop. We’ll stop at some of the best wineries in the district. We’ll learn all things wines today from growing to tasting, so be ready to learn!
If you’re not confident on the two wheeled variety of bike, don’t worry, we’ve got that covered. Your host will be more than happy to share a ride on a two or four-person roadster with you. It’s okay, no-one will take any photos, no-one will ever know!
O/N Knightsbridge Lodge Motor Lodge (or similar)
DAY 8 – DEPARTURE DAY
All good things must come to an end (B)
If you are leaving NZ with the group, you’ll be transferred to the airport in Blenheim for your short flight to Wellington or Aukland