Sounds Like Fun (Part One) – Queen Charlotte Track

“On a Mish” #349 (GUEST POST) Sounds Like Fun! The Queen Charlotte Track – Part One. Meretoto/Ships Cove. Marlborough Sounds. 24.4.2021. Regular readers of this page know that most of the mishes carried out involved propelling oneself up mountains and into very remote situations, with little in the way of creature comforts on hand. My experience of the Queen Charlotte walk was about as far away from that as you can get!

Following a couple of very enjoyable independent multi-day walks with my fellow travellers ‘of a certain age’ I had got used to carrying my own food, no power, and lurching around in the dark trying to find the long drop toilet. But due to the nature and structure of the Queen Charlotte Track this hike is quite different. At the end of each day you emerge from relative isolation, not to the usual shared hut, but instead to the luxury and convenience of road-accessible, catered (and licensed!) accommodation. To me this had its pros and cons. While I revelled in the bliss of a hot shower and clean sheets at the end of the day, not to mention some mighty fine dinners, I missed the camaraderie and sense of remoteness of huts that are actually within the track.

Day 1 – Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet. Our friendly escort from Wilderness Guides collected us from our accommodation for a very informative briefing, and the chance to sneak off to Picton’s excellent toasted sandwich shop. Then we were off on the water taxi to Ship Cove and the start of our walk. This scenic and historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s as well as being a site of significance for local Maori.

Even if you’re not planning to do the walk, if you’re ever in Picton it’s well worth grabbing the water taxi and visiting this excellent site which is such an important part of our heritage. The bush on day one is mainly a mixture of podocarp and beech forest with punga ferns and other New Zealand native foliage. Beautiful and very different from the walks down south I am more used to, especially coming down into a bay to eat lunch by the sea. Spent the night at the historic and very comfortable Furneaux Lodge – sheets, showers and civilisation!

Morning Mist in the Air as the Adventure Begins…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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