Queen Charlotte Sound Travel Guide

  • Queen Charlotte Track,  South Island.
    Queen Charlotte Track, South Island.
    by kiwi
  • Sunset in the Sounds.
    Sunset in the Sounds.
    by kiwi
  • Portage
    Portage
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Queen Charlotte Sound Things to Do

  • Walk the Track.

    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...

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  • Visit a bird sanctuary.

    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 ,...

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  • Queen Charlotte Sound Hotels

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Queen Charlotte Sound Transportation

  • West Bay Water Tranport

    West Bay Water Transport operates 7 days a week service around Queen Charlotte Sound, with both scheduled and "On Demand" services.In summer and shoulder season, they operate 5 times daily: in winter, 3 times daily.They have a fleet of 2 high-speed vessels, with a total capacity of up to 60 passengers.They operate from the floating jetty in...

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  • Water Taxi for all needs.

    The Cougar Line Water Taxis will get you to where you want to go around Queen Charlotte Sound, from Picton. For the Queen Charlotte Walk, these guys do a champion job. They transport you out to Ships Cove near the entrance to the Sound, for the starting point of the walk. Probably though, the most important feature of their service, is that they...

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Queen Charlotte Sound Shopping

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    Shop at Endeavour Inlet Resort

    by kiwi Written Feb 15, 2006

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    While walking the Queen Charlotte Track, you should have most of what you need with you. However from time to time you need to acquire stuff. Here at the Endeavour Inlet Resort, they have a small shop with essentials such as cereal, bottled water, batteries, film, insect repellant etc etc. Really you can't rely on the shops on track, but it's a pleasant surprise when you can procure something you forgot or need, when out in the wilderness.

    What to buy: Well here at this shop, the nice pleasant surprise was the freezer with small tubs of icecream, which were a very welcome treat after the long walk of the day.

    What to pay: Of course you must pay a few cents more for everything out here, as freight and isolation cause added charges. Mostly you are not too worried to pay this, as it's nice to find things out here.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking
    • Sailing and Boating

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Queen Charlotte Sound Local Customs

  • Legendary Dog.

    This wee dog has quite a story to tell. He used to live at Resolution Bay, where there is a café and cabins. Apparently he often followed the hikers, and ended up miles from home. Then it was nothing for him to jump on the water taxi and end up in Picton or other ports, before people saw to it that he eventually made it home. Well now he lives...

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  • Erradicate Possums

    The only good possum is a dead possum. Well that's how most kiwis feel these days. These pesky little critters were introduced from Australia, where I believe they are now protected. However in New Zealand they found their own private Nirvana and have bred prolifically and become a real problem. They eat kiwi eggs, endangering them even more. As...

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Queen Charlotte Sound Warnings and Dangers

  • Unbearable smell.

    On the Queen Charlotte Track there are a small number of toilets, of the "long drop" variety. Purely by the nature of these beasts, you encounter the most unbearable smell when you first enter. Can I advise you that taking a big breath before you enter, is not enough. However when you finally do have to breathe, initially it us horrid, but after...

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  • Don't overdose on vitamins!

    Don't be tempted to overdose on vitamins to "help" you walk the Queen Charlotte track or any other trek. One adverse effect is that can induce diarrhoea like symptoms which in turn creates difficulty with dealing to that. There are not too many toilets on the track, and diving into the bush isn't always so easy right at that moment when you need to...

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  • Weather changes quickly.

    This region is no different to the rest of New Zealand, where there is a strong possibility of rapid weather changes. I just want to mention this because it really is a necessity to carry a good waterproof jacket while doing the Queen Charlotte Track. Personally I carry something warm as well, but the waterproof is a must. At least if it turns wet...

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Queen Charlotte Sound What to Pack

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    Hikers breakfast porridge. 1 more image

    by kiwi Written Feb 12, 2006

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    Luggage and bags: Fortunately on the Queen Charlotte Track, you can have large bags watertaxied to the next lodge each day, so can afford to bring more than on a trek where you carry all your gear. So really you can even bring a suitcase, but you need a daypack for wetweather gear, warm gear and water and lunch during the day. Of course how much you carry is over to your fitness and capablilities.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Although recommended to wear boots, I felt this track is good enough to wear walking shoes. However they must be sturdy and have good tread as the track is mostly clay and in wet conditions is very slippery. All the streams are bridged so you don't need to wade throught water. My husband wore sandals!! We did have quite good weather though, and for the wet day he reverted to his shoes.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Insect repellant (although we didn't have a need this trip!). Sunscreen is a MUST!! Plasters, and general first aid items.

    Photo Equipment: You need a camera!! And plenty of memory. There are just so many views to capture, and the birds and bush is nice to record as well.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you are using the backpackers' accommodation all you need is a sleeping bag. Pillows, cutlery, plates etc are all provided.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Backpacking

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Queen Charlotte Sound Off The Beaten Path

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    Queen Charlotte Track

    by kiwi Updated Jul 28, 2011

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    There are a few places, while walking the Queen Charlotte Track, where you really need to pay attention and read the green DOC (Dept of Conservation) signs. If you head out on the wrong track, you will need to do some serious walking to get back to where you should be.

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    Here the track goes up the small hill on the left side of the photo, not the dusty road to the right! We very nearly took the wrong route......

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking

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Queen Charlotte Sound Favorites

  • Keep to the Track.

    Just be sure, when walking any or all of the sections of the Queen Charlotte Track, that at times you traverse private land. It's only the grace of that landowner that allows this to happen, therefore it is paramount that we all respect that, and be sure to keep to the track and not stray onto that private land.One of the main rules is to shut...

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  • Arriving in the Sounds by Ferry.

    One of the most common ways to get to the South Island of New Zealand is to arrive by Inter Island Ferry. Either as a foot passenger, or with your vehicle, it caters for all. We arrived at the Marlborough Sounds right on sunset, and although it meant we missed some lovely views, we did get to see the beauty of the sun over the Sounds.Here in these...

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  • Coastal areas.

    Most of the time the bushline goes right down to the sea. But in small pockets and tiny bays, cute little beaches form, and some have a clearing for access. This lovely little bay is a Ship Cove one of the northern areas of Queen Charlotte Sound. The views for the top of the ridges are stunning, however views from sealevel are something to behold...

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Queen Charlotte Sound
Mind the gorse!
Warnings and Dangers
Mountain Bikes on Track too.
Warnings and Dangers
Pack on the track.
Warnings and Dangers
Map of Queen Charlotte Sound

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