The Marlborough Sounds feature many delightful bays, islands, coves and waterways, which were formed by the sea flooding its deep valleys after the ice ages. The Queen Charlotte Track is the main attraction for trampers.
We set off on a boat over to Ship Cove to start a three day trek. We saw some fur seals sunning themselves on the way over and it looked as though it would be a good day. At Ships cove there is a monument to Captain Cook which we took in before heading up onto the track. This took us up and over a ridge where we had some good views of the Sounds and then down to Furneaux lodge. This was a 15km walk. From here we took a boat to Punga cove which meant we were missing one section, but we had been told that this was just a walk through the forest.
We stayed at Noeline's Homestead. She was an old lady of 74 yrs old and she loves travelling as well. From the moment we arrived she started talking and carried on through dinner until bedtime !!! She was very interesting and it felt like you were at your grandmothers.
From Noeline's we headed back on the track up to Portage. This was a 25km walk and was fairly exhausting as it was up and down all the way. There were some great views of the sounds along the way and we had many breaks as the weather was so good ! We arrived in Portage and checked in to De Bretts, another homestead which was just as nice as it was new with a balcony which had beautiful views over the Sounds. After pie and chips we sat talking to another couple who were biking the track before heading to bed.
We set off at about 9am as we had to get to Anakiwa by 3pm for our boat transfer back to Picton. Again, the weather gods had blessed us with great weather and it was almost too hot as we climbed the first hill which was a steep ascent for about an hour. This part was 21km and by the end our legs were shaking and the blisters were starting to hurt ! However we must have been walking fast as we made it in a quicker time than the couple who were biking !!!
Back in Picton we changed into comfy shoes and then drove to Nelson.
Cougar line - Transferred our packs from place to place, as well as us !
Noeline's - Nice homely place and Noeline is an absolute dear !
De Bretts - Great views and big rooms. Like having your own unit !