Published: October 17th 2006June 5th 2006
Leaving Blenheim Team NZ
, that's Markus, Georgina and myself headed down the road to Picton
. Our first adventure was to be the Queen Charlotte Track. A 2 day walking track running through the Marlborough Sounds. It was late autumn, winter approaching and the track apparently was boggy so we decided just an overnight stay and days trek. Packed plenty of Ham & Cheese and took the mid-morning water taxi to Torea Bay
Our plush hostel for the night, The Portage
was only a short walk from the Torea jetty. A glorious day and with an avo to kill we rented a boat and set out exploring the Marlborough Sounds. The boat was about 12ft with a 2 stroke engine, none of us had ever done this before and surprisingly we made it onto the Sounds without hitting anything
. Very pleasant cruising the Sounds with the engine only stalling twice! Our evening was spent in a near deserted bar sitting next to the fire chatting with a family from Christchurch
. Pete, Donna and their three sons Conrad, Reagan and Logan where friendly and very engaging, they ended up inviting us to join them on there boat the next day, which we
couldn't refuse! So 8am a little hungover we met the Doake's at the jetty. The boat was a step up from yesterdays, a speed boat! We headed out onto the Sounds cruising the still early morning waters. A dark object
was spotted on the shoreline in the distance Pete turned off the engine and we drifted in to get a better view. Sure enough a WILD BOAR!!
In next to no time the shotgun
was out, the laser sights on and an hush fell over the boat. To say Mark and myself where excited would be a massive understatement! we where loving it. The tension was thick as we waited, the first shot fired, the Boar staggered
then another two and it hit the ground. what a start to the day!!
We left the Boar on the shore and headed off to a mussel farm for a spot of fishing. It was the easiest fishing I've ever done, one after another I was pulling out decent size Blue Cod. George was doing well but Markus was struggling
, big time. We got to keep everything caught over a set length and between us filled several buckets in next to no
After the fishing master class we headed back to pickup the dead Boar! Next problem how to get a 50Kg
Boar onto the boat. Dropped anchor Pete & Conrand waded ashore and floated it to the boat after dragging it into the water. Took a team effort to haul it onto the rear and secure it. We starred at it, thinking what adventures the morning had bought. Continuing through the Sounds Boar bleeding strapped to the rear we came across a pod of Dolphins
at the Endevaour Inlet! Playful mammals, they followed the boat dancing from one side to the other while we cruised the bay.
The day finished off with Pete giving us some of the fish we caught. We happily headed back to the hostel to eat some incredibly fresh and well deserved fish!
The next morning 7:30am
we hit the Queen Charlotte Track, just in time to see the sunrising. Watching the sun breaking over valleys and mountains is what mornings where made for. We climbed for about an hour upto 400m
then walked across a series of hill top ridges. Away below the Sounds, midst floating on the water, sun breaking through
brightening up the clouds above with another thin layer of clouds sandwiched between looking a little lost. We trekked took from the Portage to the Norea Saddle then past Lochrama Bay, through Mistletoe Bay before arriving at Anakiwa
early afternoon and our water taxi back to Picton.
Hiking maps in NZ give distance in terms of hours. Which is a real pain when trying to workout how long a walk is going to take. The times given seem to be based on a on an OAP with a particularly with a particularly heavy bag, bad hangover and serious lack of fitness. What should have been our lunch stop we hit mid morning. The map reckoned 8hrs we did it in about 5! Aren't we great
There are more photos below