Hiking the Queen Charlotte TrackFebruary 25, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌬 13 °C
Today was the first day of our 3-day trip in the far north of the South Island, with the Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company (MSAC). This is more like an organized adventure than a tour. In the morning at the MSAC office, we were given a packed lunch for the day and instructions for the next three days. Then we were pointed to the water taxi for the 1-hour cruise to the start of another of New Zealand’s great walks, the Queen Charlotte track.
Our tour groups are getting even smaller —Backroads, 20 others; NZ Trails, 2 others; today, 1 other). Our fellow traveler, Matt, is from Auckland. Many others got off the boat to walk the trail too, so we all dispersed and went at our own pace.
The trail starts with a steep, rocky slope in the dense rainforest, with occasional views out over the Queen Charlotte Sound and its islands. From time-to-time we passed waterfalls and through sections with a lot of birdsong (listen on our video). Other times all we could hear was the howling wind. At least there was no rain, and we were fairly protected from the wind while in the trees. Our section for today was about 9 or 10 miles, and after the steep 1+ mile ascent, the trail became more rolling and better maintained.
We arrived at the water taxi pickup spot where we were taken around more of the Sound and dropped 2 km short of our lodging for the night. Luckily our luggage had gone on ahead to the Portage Hotel, named for the land crossing the Maori used to portage their wooden canoes to the Kenepuru Sound. We thought that last hill was hard enough carrying just our daypacks.
We enjoyed a nice dinner and bottle of local Pinot Noir, shared with our fellow traveler, Matt.Read more