Queen Charlotte & Abel Tasman

Spend four days on the Queen Charlotte Track in paradise with native birds, flora and fabulous company followed by a scenic cruise, and 3 days of easy walking in lush native forest, pristine bays and golden sandy beaches.

The Queen Charlotte Walk is a truly unique and exciting way to explore the treasure that is the Marlborough Sounds, the shining jewel of the South Island of New Zealand.

Abel Tasman walking is through lush native forest and golden sandy beaches from Totaranui in the north to Marahau in the south.

It’s pleasant walking, with no point higher than 150m. We’ll take care of the details, leaving you free to enjoy. Our guides and hosts will help you make the most of each day.

Tour Type

Walking Tour

7-12 Day Tour

Duration

8 days / 7 nights

Fitness

Price

NZ$4,120

Book now for Next Season! 2019 / 2020

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

Tour Itinerary

Price: NZ$4,120

Day 1

Picton to Endeavour Inlet

15 km

Furneaux Lodge

Day One of The Queen Charlotte Walk leads walkers from Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet, a walk through virgin beech forest and bush, taking approximately 5 hours (15km).

If visibility is good, views as far as the Kapiti Islands and the North Island are able to be seen.

Following the track along the Tawa Saddle, gives way to further astounding views of the Endeavour Inlet.

A short descent through magnificent native bush and crystal clear streams and then on to the shore line that leads you to your first nights’ accommodation.

Relax and unwind in this picturesque setting and enjoy dinner with your fellow walkers.

From Ship Cove the track ascends and provides walkers with amazing views down into Resolution Bay and surrounding areas.

Day 2

Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay

11.5 km

Mahana Lodge

Day Two of The Queen Charlotte Walk is a relatively gentle day covering a distance of 11.5kms and takes approximately 4 hours. Walkers will follow the track from Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay.

Following mainly coastal tracks you will walk around the inlet through the native bush to the delightful sounds of fantails and bellbirds.

Endeavour Head has a colourful history dating back to the 1880’s. It was originally a mining site of stibnite – an essential component of antimony used to produce pewter and harden steel. The mine employed over 400 people.

Walkers then pass through Big Bay and onto Camp Bay where Day Two ends. Spend the night relaxing in this idyllic spot.

Day 3

Camp Bay to Portage

25 km

Portage

Day Three is a demanding day, as you walk up to Kenepuru Saddle and follow the undulating ridgeline track for the remainder of the day.

A challenging walk, taking approximately 8 hours (23km), walkers are well rewarded by the breathtaking panoramic views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.

The accommodation for evening is the delightful, well established Portage Resort with majestic views and excellent cuisine.

Day 4

Portage to Anakiwa

20 km

Comfortable Motel

Day Four of The Queen Charlotte Walk provides walkers with more spectacular views as you climb the main ridge between Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds covering a distance of 18kms, on your way to Anakiwa.

Take the time to look back over the distance covered during your walk and take in the breathtaking vistas.

Continue following old bridle paths through regenerating forest that is home to fantails, weka, wax eyes and many more native New Zealand birds.

Finally, your adventure ends with a gentle 3km walk through the magnificent beech forest to Anakiwa where your water taxi will pick you up and return you to Picton where you will stay the night.

Dinner is at your expense tonight.

Day 5

Picton to Nelson

Comfortable Motel

Today you travel to Nelson and on arrival you have free time for the rest of the day. You will stay in Nelson.

Dinner is at your expense tonight.

Day 6

Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa

7 km

Meadowbank Homestead

All aboard our Vista Cruise vessel! As we cruise from Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park, north to Totaranui we echo the contours of the spectacular Abel Tasman coastline. Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks and enjoy a hot drink from the cafe. From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the breathtaking expanse of the Awaroa inlet. Then, welcome to Meadowbank Homestead At Awaroa, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family’s original home on the “finest site in the bay”.

  • Pick up Nelson (10.15 – 10.45 am) or Motueka (11.30 am) or if you are self driving please meet at our office by 11.30 am. Wednesday departures and some low season departures have an earlier start. See Start/Finish Times (below) for more details.
  • Meet your guide at our Motueka office for a welcome briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation, before departing to Kaiteriteri by coach.
  • 1.00 pm: Vista Cruise departs Kaiteriteri for a fast, safe, comfortable cruise along the National Park coastline. Hot & cold drinks, open and enclosed viewing decks and bathroom facilities on board.
  • From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the tidal inlet at Awaroa.
  • Either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanses of the largest inlet on the coast.
  • Meadowbank Homestead At Awaroa sits right on the edge of the inlet. Here, you’ll be welcomed with pre-dinner drinks, fine food, and comfortable accommodation full of history and kiwi charm.

Approximate Times: 
Scenic drive to Kaiteriteri – from Nelson 1 hours, from Motueka 20 mins
Vista Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui – 1.5 hours.
Walk – 2.5 hours (7 kms, 4.5 miles) including tidal crossing
Maximum elevation 60 m (200 ft)

Meals included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

Day 7

Awaroa to Torrent Bay

17 km

Torrent Bay Lodge

After a relaxing night’s sleep and home-cooked breakfast overlooking the gardens by the sea at Meadowbank, you’ll be ready for your scenic day walk to Torrent Bay. If you’re not feeling energetic, your Guide will arrange for a boat ride so can choose the amount of walking to suit.

Section 1:  Awaroa to Onetahuti and Tonga Quarry 6 km (3.5 miles) Max elevation 85 m (280 ft)

  • 9 am (approx.) leave Awaroa to enjoy a morning walking through native forest with magnificent coastal views, then walk along the golden sands of Onetahuti Beach.
  • Continue on to explore the historic sites and picturesque golden cove of Tonga Quarry beach.

Section 2:  Tonga Quarry to Bark Bay 4km (2.5 miles) Max elevation 120 m (400 ft)

  • From Tonga Quarry, walk over a forested saddle and around the Waterfall Trail to Bark Bay.
  • Midday, stop for lunch at Bark Bay, taking time out to relax, explore, swim or sunbathe on the golden sands.

Section 3: Bark Bay to Torrent Bay 7 kms (4.4 miles) Max elevation 105 m (340 ft)

  • From Bark Bay, walk the most varied section the coastal track as it winds through shady gullies of mature Beech forest, fern grottos and sunny groves of Manuka framing coastal vistas.
  • Cross the swing bridge at Falls River and continue on to Torrent Bay.
  • Around 4.30 pm: A welcome awaits at Torrent Bay Lodge, right on the beachfront.  This was the Wilson family’s holiday home, now tastefully extended and renovated to include all modern comforts whist keeping its relaxed, beach holiday atmosphere.

Leisurely options:

  • 11.50 am, board the Vista catamaran at Tonga Quarry. Cruise to Bark Bay to join the rest of your group for lunch or continue on to Torrent Bay.
  • 3.00 pm, board the Vista catamaran at Medlands Beach (Bark Bay) to cruise to Torrent Bay.

Maximum total Walking time: 7 hours (17 kms, 10.5 miles)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Torrent Bay to Nelson

13 - 16 kms, depending on the tide

Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before breakfast. Then on your final day, walk the easiest section of the coastal track from Torrent Bay to Marahau, with panaromic views across Tasman Bay to Nelson. Along the way you’ll rediscover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D’Urville in 1827.

  • Depart Torrent Bay Lodge at about 9.00 am
  • Around midday, stop for lunch at a sheltered beach with views of the islands in the Astrolabe Roadstead.
  • Our driver meets you at Marahau (or Kaiteriteri) to Motueka (4.30 pm) or Nelson (5.30 – 6.00 pm)**.

For less walking time:

  • Join the Vista Cruise at Torrent Bay, Anchorage beach or Apple Tree Bay to return to Kaiteriteri.

Approximate times:
Walk 4-5 hours, depending on tides (13 – 16 kms, 8 – 10 miles)
Maximum elevation 110 m (360 ft)
Scenic drive Marahau/Kaiteriteri to Motueka (20 mins) or Nelson (1 hour)

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch

This itinerary is reversed for Wednesday departures. 

Start/Finish times

The direction of this trip may be reversed on some departures with earlier pick up in Nelson (7.15 – 7.40 am) and Motueka (8.15 am).

The earlier pick-up applies to most Wednesday departures and all departures after NZ daylight savings time finishes at the beginning of April.

If Start/Finish times don’t suit your itinerary, please contact us to make alternative arrangements. All our itineraries can be flexible to accommodate your needs or schedule.

Please confirm the start/finish time with us before you book connecting airline flights.

Important Additional Information:

Walking each day is optional. You are welcome to travel on any of our scheduled ferry services. This flexibility is perfect for couples or groups with different interests and abilities – some preferring to walk, others to take the boat between lodges. As our 3 Day Guided Walk runs at the same time as our 3 Day Guided Kayak & Walk break, some of your group can choose the Kayak & Walk option.

We reserve the right to alter itineraries, timetables and vessel types. All travel subject to weather and tides which may cause delay/cancellation.

What's included?

Accommodation

  • Day 1: Lodge
  • Day 2: Lodge
  • Day 3: Lodge
  • Day 4: Comfortable Motel
  • Day 5 Comfortable Motel
  • Day Six: Private Lodge
  • Day 6: Private Lodge

Double or twin share. If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of the tour.

 

Food

You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings.If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking. All meals are included in your tour cost except your evening meal on night Five. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.

 

Luggage

Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.
All you carry is a small day pack with your personal gear, drink and lunch. We do the rest

 

Tour Kit Bag – Exclusive to Tuatara Tours

To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a kit bag full of useful goodies.

This will be given to you at the start of your tour.

 

An experienced guide

Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.

 

All transport

 

Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

 

NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)

 

Safety and Risk Management

To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.

*The Abel Tasman walking component of this tour is run in conjunction with another operator.

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