If you plan to walk the Queen Charlotte Track, the best option is to catch the Water Taxi out to Ship Cove and head back to Picton from there. The Track is somewhere between 67 - 71 kms long, depending on the exact route that you take. Walking this direction is best because the Water Taxi will collect your heavy bags each morning and take them on to the next accommodation, leaving you only a daypack to carry. Very civilised :-)
If you travel the track in the reverse order, then there is no ferry service for bags.
You can get the chance to visit this bird sanctuary, Motuara Island. Visit with licensed guides, and you can walk in the lovely bush, enjoy the super views of Cook Strait, and listen to the happy birds. Thankfully it is predator free, allowing some of our bird species to exist in peace. These include Blue Penguins, South Island Saddlebacks , bellbirds, robins and native pigeons. Some of these are rare.
The island has a chequered history, having been farmed for two generations, but finally established as a scenic and historic reserve in 1912. The regrowth after years of being cleared, is a testimony to the supporters of the island, which was originally depicted in drawings, by Captain Cook on his 1769 voyage.
www.naturetours.co.nz is a company run by marine biologists, who ensure your guides and commentary are well informed and give you the best opportunities for the day of your visit.