Hike the first 15 kilometers of the beautiful Queen Charlotte Track with dramatic views of the Marlborough Sounds.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Please note: Minimum of 4 paying passengers is required for this tour to go ahead. If minimum numbers are not reached we will happily refund the tour costs.
One of our most popular walking options, with a variety of scenery from rugged, grand to placidly beautiful Nature's Best combines a scenic cruise with expert commentary, historical Ship Cove and an initially challenging but scenically rewarding 15 km walk to Furneaux Lodge. Here is an example of what you would expect on your day out!
Your adventure will begin as you cruise north from Picton on one of our fleet through the drowned river valleys of the Queen Charlotte Sound and past idyllic bays. As we head towards Ship Cove your skipper will talk about the history, geology, flora, and fauna of the area and – if there is time- will get closer to any passing wildlife, including dolphins who like to play in the wake of the boat.
In the 1770s, sheltered Ship Cove provided safe anchorage, food, water and timber for explorer Captain James Cook and his ship crews on five separate occasions and saw some of the earliest sustained contact between Mäori and Europeans.
There is plenty of historical information at Ship Cove before you climb away from the beach through native forest regenerating beneath a high canopy of trees. The forest includes manuka, kanuka, five finger and tree ferns and is home to many native New Zealand bird species: tui, fantails, silvereyes and tomtits. If you stop for a break, a curious weka may come to check you out.
When you reach Tawa Saddle, stunning views of the Queen Charlotte Sound spread out before you. The track then drops into Resolution Bay and follows an old bridle path into Endeavour Inlet.
Furneaux Lodge at the head of the Endeavour Inlet is your destination. Here you can buy drinks and meals and relax before boarding your cruise vessel at approximately 4-4:30 pm for your return to Picton. Arriving back at approximately 5.30-6 pm.
Walking times: between 3 and 5 hours, depending on fitness level.