Views, views and more views...
Having heard so much about the multi-day tracks in New Zealand, we felt we had to try one before we left. After a quick night in Picton to wash clothes and reload our day packs we set off to sample the Queen Charlotte Track. This track is 71km long and traverses high ridges in the Marlborough Sounds area at the north end of the South Island. Most people take 4-5 days to do the whole track, but as time was short I decided to cover most of the track by MTB and Gayla hiked the last two days of the track.
We started by loading up on one of the many local water taxis for the hour long trip up the coast to the start of the track.
Before long I was dropped of at the Ferneaux Lodge and Gayla sailed away to start at the Punga Cove Resort. Did I mention that at the end of each day of the track you find a wonderful little lodge complete with restaurants and pubs? I could really get used to this Kiwi tramping. Tramping is what the Kiwis call hiking. As you can imagine we had fun with that. "Where do I find a good tramp?", "Is this a day tramp or and overnight tramp?", "Does the tramp provide accommodations?", you get the idea...
The Queen Charlotte Track is extremely well maintained, and while steep in spots and a little slick from the recent rains, we found it easy to make good time.
Of course the views along the way were stunning, so stopping to enjoy the scenery consumed much of our time.
Much of the track goes across private land, but the local group has done a good job keeping access open.
Look at that smiling face. Some one is having a good time.
On the first day, I was covering much more ground, but once each day Gayla and I would meet up and stop for a bite to eat...
...and to feed the Wekas. These guys are the pigeons of the area.
After a full day of hiking and biking, we found ourselves at the Portage Cove Resort.
This was the view from our room. Not to shabby huh?
The next morning after breakfast at the resort we headed back out.
The weather had taken a turn and we spent most of the day in a light drizzle.
While the visibility was reduced, the views were still amazing as we continued along the ridge line.
About 10km from the end, the track dropped down to the water at a beautiful little bay called Davies Cove.
From there it was an easy pedal to the end of the track at Anakiwa
Where we found a nice little coffee caravan to warm us while we waited for the boat back to Picton.
A short boat ride later we were back in Picton for a warm meal (local green lipped mussels) and a good night sleep.