Join our 4 day guided walking/boat tour to tramp and explore the true wilderness of the Outer Queen Charlotte Sounds and Outer Sanctuary Islands.
Each day sets out on a variation of challenging adventures. Walk in Captain Cooks footsteps at Ship Cove and then through virgin forest in the outer reaches of the Queen Charlotte Sound. Journey through some of the most deserted and exposed landscape in the area where the early settlers explored for gold, and commune with the animal and marine life that calls the Marlborough Sounds their home.
A courtesy vehicle will pick you up from your accommodation in Picton and take you to the waterfront where you will join a boat for a comfortable and informative cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound to Ship Cove arriving mid morning. Here you will be met by your guide who will make sure the next few days are your most memorable as well as ensuring your luggage is transferred to your accommodation for the night.
Before commencing the walk through to the 100 year old lodge at Anakakata Bay, spend some time at Ship Cove learning about its history and enjoying morning tea. Once started our challenging ridge top walk takes us to a height of 700 metres through enchanted virgin forest. Stop for lunch and enjoy unrivalled views to the North and West where you can see the large western islands of the Marlborough Sounds. Continue on and descend on a private walking track on the Cape Jackson peninsula and enjoy a glimpse of the rest of the peninsula that we will be exploring on day 2. Arrival at the lodge will be in the late afternoon just in time for a little relaxation before the 3 course ‘wilderness’ dinner is served.
Set out at an early but respectable time to explore the peninsula and its many attractions along the way. Our trek will take us out to the northern most tip of the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Cape Jackson lighthouse. Venture out via the razor back neck of the peninsula to the lighthouse and enjoy the 360 degree views including the view of the North Island and the Cook Strait. Enjoy the wildlife, from the New Zealand fur seals to an abundance of seabirds and if you are lucky, perhaps dolphins or even whales. Here we see wildlife that isn’t often seen in the inner sounds including the king shag and the Northern Great Petrel. On the return walk enjoy a stop at the golden sandy beach for lunch and a swim before continuing via the loop track through regenerating forest lands that were once farmed. Night two is again enjoyed at the Anakakata Lodge with perhaps an independent penguin spotting tour after dinner.
Give your feet a break for the morning and explore an outer sanctuary island at dawn, by boat. We will cruise to Motuara Island bird sanctuary where we will circumnavigate the island learning about its past, present and future. You will then have the opportunity to visit the islandenjoy the dawn chorus and the special wildlife it has e.g. saddlebacks (tieke), NZ Robin (toutouwai), Bellbird (korimako), tui, NZ pigeon (kereru), Little Blue penguin, Marlborough Green Ghecko and Maud Island Frog. The well formed track up to the top of the island zigzags through regenerating forest where there is a great 360 degree view of the sounds and the chance of seeing a spectacular sunrise. A comprehensive wildlife identification manual will be available to take with you.
Mid morning board our boat again and travel back to Cape Jackson via the extreme coastline of rocky, weather formed, cliff faces and learn about its history. After lunch we shall walk out to our historic goldmine workings and workers village, on the western side of the Cape Jackson peninsula.
See old machinery, stone house remnants, shafts and tunnels (drives). Learn about the several efforts to extract gold and the conditions that the men endured looking for that elusive ‘gold reef’. Return using part of the old dray track that was used to carry stores from the eastern side of the peninsula to the villages themselves.
Todays trips expose us to the values of looking after our environment and how we can preserve these valuable resources. Our guest speaker, after dinner, elaborates on this theme in an informative laid back discussion to round off our very busy day.
Return to Picton via the western shores of the Queen Charlotte Sound. We take you to Ships Cove on our boat aiming to catch a last glimpse of any wildlife we may have missed. We will meet the boat here for the return journey through parts of the sounds that you didn’t get to see on your way out, this includes the coastal home of the famous inner Queen Charlotte Track. This return cruise offers you a relaxing time to reflect on your adventure with us before completing your journey and arriving in Picton at approximately 1pm.
Tramping True Wilderness Tour
$1380NZ per person child rate $990NZ per person
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