Stayed a night whilst on a Guided Walk on the Queen Charlotte Sound. We had an afternnoon to spare as this was the shortest day of the 5 day walk. However, the Spa was not working nor was the swimmimg pool .. the advertised massage was not also not available .. and apart from these items there is NOTHING else to do at this place. The Reception staff were also less than pleasant .. I suppose they know there is nowhere else to go !
The redeeming feature of the whole place was the Restaurant and the stafff at the Restaurant. Just Brilliant !
Cnoc Na Lear Backpackers Retreat was a welcome sight at the end of our first part of walking the Queen Charlotte Track. We received a very warm and friendly welcome from hosts Peter and Colleen, including some home baked muffins to have with our cuppa. The accommodation was warm ( electric heating), clean and comfortable and far more than we expected from a backpacker type of accommodation. We opted for dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch to take with us the next day and couldn't have been happier with the home cooked meal and goodies we received - absolutely delicious. Colleen is a fantastic cook. We would certainly stay at Cnoc Na Lear again and would recommend it to anyone for their first night's accommodation along the Queen Charlotte Track or even for a longer stay to explore the area and make more use of the kayak offered for use....we had a short play around in it in the morning but had to keep walking to our next destination along the track.
Views across Endeavour Inlet
Use of two-person kayak
Delicious home cooked meals available at a reasonable price
I enjoyed my stay at Titoki Eco Holiday Retreat immensely.
The view from the deck is so peaceful and relaxing, I only wish I could have stayed a few more days.
All of the amenities of a modern life, located in a very remote area, with few neighbours.
A truly unique experience.
Located high up the hill overlooking Lochmara Bay, Titoki can be reached easily from the dock by a private cable railway.
Accommodation consists of two well appointed bedrooms with own separate views, furnished with cozy duvets. With 2 queen-sized and 3 single beds, Titoki can sleep up to 7 people. A spacious bathroom lies between the 2 bedrooms.
Stepping down from the bedrooms is a large comfortably furnished, beamed and raftered, lounge and kitchen (with log burner for winter occupation).
Amenities include fridge/freezer, gas range/oven, microwave, blender, toaster, jug, home theatre including DVD/CD/VHS in surround sound.
Expansive decks with panoramic views include BBQ, dining table and comfortable outdoor seating.
There is limited camping along the Queen Charlotte Track. DOC (Dept of Conservation) campsites are found at : Resolution Bay; Camp Bay (near Punga Cove); Cowshed Bay (nr Portage); and Mistletoe Bay. You will find very basic facilities, a toilet and a water tap. Always boil water before drinking. There are two DOC campsites on the stretch of track between Punga Cove and Portage. Most have an honesty box for you to pay your nominal few dollars fee.
It is important to note however, that there are NO campsites, and therefore No camping, at both Ship Cove and Bay of Many Coves.
Lochmara Lodge is a true Eco Retreat, only accessible by boat, or by foot via the Queen Charlotte Track. Water Taxis run here from Picton, for ease of access.
The accommodation available ranges in price from Backpackers to Chalets. So there is something for everyone, and they endeavour to meet your needs. You can enjoy this place if you want adventure and activity, or if you want to relax and use the massage and spa facilities.
The general theme of this place is Education and Preservation of the natural surroundings, which are really stunning. The Marlborough Sounds are long necks of water with countless coves and bays and Lochmara is nestled in one of these.
From Lochmara you can take walks on the Queen Charlotte Track in the lovely native bush. Or you can go kayaking, on the Sounds. There is rowing, and snorkeling. Fishing even. Or you can lie in a hammock and read books to the sound of the local birds. Lochmara have a programme to protect and plant native bush which in turn encourages the birdlife to remain/return.
Occassionally dolphins appear in the Sounds if you are very lucky. Seals are nearby sunning themselves, we saw some.
When I first arrived here after a long trek, I thought "oh it's so OLD!". But after settling in and realising it's character, I felt very happy to be here. They have some motel units which are fully serviced with bedding etc, and some backpacker huts which only lack bedding. The backpackers have full cooking facilities in each hut and it's a short walk to the TV/Library/Games Lounge.
My preconceived idea of a Resort is oppulence and modernism. So finding on arrival that this place was nothing like that, I only took a few minutes to realise it had character and charm all of it's own. The furniture and decor was something from a time warp, but extremely likeable.
Motel beds were very comfortable, backpacker beds basic but comfy.
All the units were spotlessly clean , and well equipped. All cooking utensils here and lovely lovely hot water in the showers.
The owners were delighful and their dog a treasure.
This was a very welcoming site, after a long long day's hiking on the Queen Charlotte Track. The Norfolk Pines, and cute old wharf, with a small marina, sure do add to the atmosphere. You can sneak next door to the Resort for a beer and swim if you want.
Some people were having a day of rest here at Portage, and taking break from trekking. What a marvellous idea and had we known about it we would have done that also. I do recommend a break if you can.
Portage Bay is such an idyllic place, with lovely green/blue sea and gorgeous dark green bush clad hills. I fell in love with this place, the stoney beach is even enjoyable. The Backpacker accommodation has everything you need, and is very comfortable, albeit small rooms. There is one motel unit which sleeps 4 - 6 people, and is upstairs of the shop, with amazing balcony views over the Bay and surrounding hills.
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