Uncharted Wilderness Tours

Guided Wilderness tours in the Marlborough Sounds NZ

Enchanted forestWilderness ExplorerSunrise Motuara IslandRed Crowned Kakariki

4 Day Back to Base Wilderness Adventure

Join our 4 day walking/boat tour to explore the Outer Queen Charlotte Sounds and the Outer Sanctuary Islands. This tour is similar to our 3 day package however it adds a challenging walkShip Cove Waterfall on the first day from Ship Cove to Anakakata Lodge, Cape Jackson. A must for those avid trampers!

Each day sets out on a variation of exciting places to explore. Travel in Captain Cooks "boat wake" from Ship Cove to Cape Jackson Cape Jacksonpeninsula, our home, home of Queen Charlotte Wilderness Park and the longest privately owned walking tracks in the Queen Charlotte Sound.

Journey through some of the most deserted and exposed landscape in the area, experience an exquisite sunrise, with a ringing background of bird call. SeePied Shag our unique Sanctuary Islands and commune with the animal and marine life that calls the Marlborough Sounds their home.


Day one: Ship Cove to Anakakata Bay Lodge, Cape Jackson Peninsula. 6-8 hours

Early morning will find you on the Picton waterfront, where you will join a boat for a comfortable and informative cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound to Ship Cove. Here you will be Wilderness Explorermet by our boat and skipper, 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 Ship CoveAnakakata Bay, spend some time at Ship Cove absorbing its history and enjoying morning tea. Once started your challenging ridge top walk takes you 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. Along the top Outer Queen Charlotte TrackContinue on and descend using a private walking track on the Cape Jackson peninsula, and enjoy a glimpse of the rest of the peninsula that you will be exploring on day 2. Arrival at the lodge will Loungebe in the late afternoon just in time for a little relaxation before the 3 course ‘wilderness’ dinner is served.

Day two: Anakakata Bay Lodge to Cape Jackson lighthouse and return. 6 hours

Set out to explore the peninsula and its many attractions along the way. The trek will take you out to the northern most tip of the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Cape Cape Jackson LighthouseJackson lighthouse. Venture out via the razor back neck of the peninsula to thelighthouse and enjoy the 360 degree views including the view of the North Island and the Cook Strait. Enjoy the wildlife, from the NZ fur seal 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 Giant Petrel. On the return walk enjoy a stop Golden Sandy Beachat 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 a little penguin spotting after dinner.

Day three:  Anakakata Bay Lodge, Cape Jackson to Bluemine Island Scenic Reserve and return. 8 hours

Cruise from Cape Jackson to Bluemine Island, our newest wildlife scenic reserve. Here you   can explore and walk to your hearts content. Learn that during world war II, two gun Bluemine Islandemplacements  and an army barracks for up to 22 men were constructed.  The housing itself was situated at the top of 215 steps and at sea level, a substantial wharf to land supplies and men, was also Lunch on top of gun implacementconstructed.  Today the remnants of these sites can be seen along a newly upgraded track (Oruawairua) with the gun emplacements (made of thick concrete) still very much standing. The wildlife calling Bluemine Island home includes orange fronted parakeet, saddleback, weka and the NZ Kauri Giant land snail (pupurangi). 

Later in the afternoon reboard our boat again to cruise back to your "base", Anakakata Bay Lodge for night two of food, fun and relaxation.

Day four:  Anakakata Bay Lodge, Cape Jackson to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, Ship Cove and return to Picton. 6 hours

Day four will find you exploring Motuara Island. We will cruise to Motuara Island bird  View Motuara Island at Dawn sanctuary following extreme coastlines of rocky, weather formed cliff faces. You will then have the opportunity to visit the island and enjoy the special wildlife it has e.g. saddlebacks (tieke), NZ Robin (toutouwai),Bellbird (korimako), tui, NZ pigeon (kereru), Little Blue  penguin, Marlborough Green Gecko and Maud Island Frog. The well NZ Saddlebackformed track up to the top of the island zigzags through regenerating forest where there is a great 360 degree view of the sounds and a chance to see a spectacular sunrise. A comprehensive wildlife identification manual will be available to take with you.

After enjoying what Motuara has to offer we will cruise over to Ship Cove where you can absorb the raw beauty and history of this area before you will meet the boat for the return journey backShip Cove to Picton 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.


$950NZ per person       child rate $690NZ per person


  • Water transport to and from Picton
  • Baggage transfers
  • Water transport between Ship Cove, Motuara Island and Bluemine Scenic Reserve
  • Three nights accommodation share twin or double ensuite. 3 course wilderness dinner plus continental breakfast all nights.

Please enquire for booking availability and times

Minimum of two persons applies to this tour. Subject to availability and weather.
Prices are valid to 30 June 2019 but are subject to change.
Prices $NZ and include NZ Goods & Services Tax (GST).
Child rates – up to 12 years.

3 day Back to Base Wilderness Adventure

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