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South island 7 Queen Charlotte Walkway

South island 7 Queen Charlotte Walkway

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:06 am

Date walked: 07/02/2003

Time taken: 96

Distance: 70 km

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While I was organising my 2002-03 New Zealand trip, I learnt that an old college friend Lynne Hayes was going to be there at the same time, finishing a coach tour at Christchurch in early February, and we agreed to meet up and do something together. Lynne is an intrepid traveller but no mountain walker, so it had to be something fairly easy and as we both intended to return to North Island afterwards, we chose the 70km Queen Charlotte Walkway in the Marlborough sounds.
This area of drowned valleys - Rias - formed by eustatic flooding (after the last ice age) consists of a number of islands, but in particular one long ridge that can be walked from end to end without any sea crossing.
Map of the whole walk from Ship Cove (top R) to Anakiwa (bottom L)
I picked up Lynne in Christchurch in my trusty hire car (ca £8.00 a day) and we stopped at Kaikoura to do a sea trip watching sperm whales (rather boring :( ) and dusky dolphins (quite brilliant :D :D ) and then continued on a minor coastal road to Picton stopping at Karaka point where we looked North across Queen Charlotte sound to the Walkway: the Wellington - Picton ferry route comes through here

Views on the way to Picton

Detailed map of the Karaka point area
Norfolk Island Pine at Robin Hood Bay
From the Port Underwood road looking down Whatamango bay to Allports island and the Walkway
Blossom at Karaka point
Karaka Point looking North
At Picton we had arranged accomodation for that night, and also a package for the three nights of the walk in comfortable "lodges" and the trips by sea taxi to the start at Ship Cove (Meretoto) and back from the finish at Anakiwa.
Ship cove is so-named because Cook landed here in the Endeavour - first in January 1770 and then a further five times over the course of his three voyages to the Pacific Ocean

Day1. Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge

Map of days I and 2
The sea taxi took about 40 minutes and dropped us off at the start of the walk at Ship Cove
Captain Cook monument : It was a rather dull cloudy morning, but over the course of the day the weather improved and remained fine ansd sunny throughout the trip :D :D
The track leads through dense forest over a saddle to Resolution Bay where refreshments are available and over a second saddle to Tawa Bay famous for it's huge Tawa trees: it then heads North along the shore of Endeavour inlet. The whole area is covered in primary forest with large trees of great diversity
This Weca appeared to relish our sandwiches: I'm sure it had eaten others before:lol:
L - Tree ferns known locally as Punga beside the track - R Mature Tawa trees
Endeavour Inlet
Furneaux lodge.jpg
Furneaux lodge - modern library photo - I don't think it was so luxurious when we were there :lol:

Day 2 Furneaux lodge to Punga cove

Map of days I and 2
The Track follows the shore of Endeavour inlet , crossing the valley at its head and continuing via Big Bay to Punga Cove named after the tree ferns which abound there. A headland opposite the cove - before going round Big Bay - proved a good stopping point for lunch and photos
From the headland looking across to Punga Cove: the exit from Endeavour Inlet is at about 11 o'clock
Zoomed view across to Punga cove below the light-coloured scar
Looking further L to yesterday's walk: Furneaux lodge is further L still
Nearing Punga cove
Evening view across the inlet from Punga Cove to Tawa Bay: The saddle we walked over on day 1 is the one on the L
Sunset at Punga cove :D

DAY 3 Punga cove to Portage Harbour

Day 3 map
Day 3 is the longest - 23km and starts with a steady climb out of Punga Cove - first to Kenepuru saddle and then on South to a peak on the ridge at 474m
Down the Titirangi road to Kenepuru head: Most of today's route follows the skyline ridge from L to R
Back up Endeavour Inlet: our route for the past two days has traversed around its head
From here the ridge turns SW and descends to another Saddlle 290m and then climbs to another peak - the highest point of the day - at 494m
From just above the saddle looking ENE over Snake Point to Arapwa Island and the open sea beyond
A closer view down to Kenepuru Head
South down the aptly named Bay of Many Coves to Queen Charlotte Sound
For much of the next several km we were hemmed in on a path through regenerating (or secondary) bush: this was rather dull as it was just high enough to block our view :( - must be much worse now :lol: - and only three or four species grow in the initial phase. Where it did open up however the views - blue sea and sky - were superb :D :D
SE across the next inlet - Ruakaka Bay - and Queen Charlotte Sound to Arapwa Island
From the same point looking down Kenepuru Sound on the other side of the ridge
SW across Blackwood bay (Tahuahua Bay) to Picton at the back of the picture
Rewa Rewa tree by the track
Rewa Rewa.jpg
Rewa Rewa flowers and leaves on the forest floor
Looking down Kumutoto bay to Allports island with the two halves of Picton behind - separated by the Snout
At Portage Saddle We descended to Portage Harbour and our third night's lodgings.

Day 4 Portage Harbour to Anakiwa

Day 4 map
We started the day by reascending the 100m to Portage Saddle and then continued just South of East along the ridge - with views on both sides. The path climbed to just over 400m
Early morning view from the saddle looking North over Portage Bay; the marina is below us and out of sight
From higher - across Portage Bay to Kenepuru Sound with Mt.Stokes (1203m) and( far R) Mt McMahon (1075m) in the distance
Back over Portage Bay and Kaiaho point to the farmland around Wattaria Bay
Back along the track. yesterday's walk traversed the ridge in the centre of the picture
Down Lochmara Bay past Hautehoro point to Grove Arm where our route is going to finish
Another arm of Lochmara Bay: Picton is out of sight behind Wedge Point in the middle of the picture
The spectacularly beautiful and wooded Onahau Bay with its three turquoise fingers :D :D
The last leg: Beyond Onahau the route turns L and descends through farmland and then more steeply through primary forest to Grove Arm. The last 4 km are along the coast path and then the road to the cafe at Anakiwa where we waited for the boat home
If you like seascapes you really can't beat it :D :D
past my sell by date
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