Sounds Like Fun (Part Two) – The Queen Charlotte Track

“On a Mish” #349 (GUEST POST) Sounds Like Fun! The Queen Charlotte Track – Part Two.. Marlborough Sounds. Marlborough Sounds. 25.4.2021. Day 2 – Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay/Punga Cove. Today’s was a coastal walk, through regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other New Zealand native birds. We crossed over a small swing bridge to the head of Endeavour Inlet and had a break there to learn more about antimony and the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. As happens so often on these walks, we were reminded of what hardy souls our forebears were, and how much easier life in general is for us now (mostly!)…

In the afternoon we followed the main track onwards and into Big Bay and pristine native beech forest, then it was on to Camp Bay and, just a few minutes later, our accommodation for the evening at Punga Cove Resort. Dinner here was very fancy indeed, though we were grateful for the waitress’s recommendation to add extra side dishes of roast spuds to our order!

Punga Cove and Punga Cove Lodge

Day 3 – Punga Cove to Portage Hotel. Challenging but rewarding’ were the words that described day three, the toughest of the walk. Given my asthma issues, challenging was certainly my word du jour as I huffed and puffed, stopping way more frequently than I would have liked. There’s definitely quite a lot of hill work on this day but the rewards are some spectacular views out to sea, particularly on the ridgeline between Punga Cove & Torea Saddle. At different times you can see both the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds at the same time. (Apparently there is an option for those who feel like a day’s rest to opt for a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to the night’s stop of Portage Hotel. Probably a good thing I didn’t realise this until after the event or I would have been very tempted.)

I have heard about the Portage for many years but never visited before. Definitely a great location although having to walk the last leg on a public road further reminded us of the nightly return to civilisation which is so unusual for a multi-day walk. But, yes, after such a tough day, the hot shower was heaven!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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