Queen Charlotte Track - 71 KM - 5 days 4 nights of hiking and camping

Published: February 11th 2010
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On February 4th, I got back on the Stray bus and headed back up to Picton. This is where I left Stray to go to Akaroa, and this is where I left them again on Feb 4th. The bus continued on the Abel Tasman, but I stayed in Picton so that I could do the Queen Charlotte Track (QCT) along the Marlborough sounds. I rested up and bought my needed supplies for a couple of days, hired camping gear from my hostel, and on Feb 6th I embarked on my first multi-day hike. It took me 4 nights/5 days to complete the 71 KM (44 mile) QCT. Most of it was quite easy walking with the exception of the third and fourth days which were more steep and higher up that the other days. Day #3 was also by far the longest day- 24 kilometers (15 miles) and took me 9 ½ hours. I also couldn’t ask for better weather - with the exception of rain during night #2 and Day #5 - it was warm and sunny. But - there were also plenty of sandflies around - I was bitten over 100 times in the 5 day period. Days 1 and 3 had by far the best views- each of the bays and sounds had their own uniqueness and beauty. On day 3 we also saw some of the vineyards that the Marlborough region is known for. Many people complete this track in 3 days, but 5 days was just the right time for me to walk at a decent pace and yet see everything there was to see. Upon arriving to the 1st campsite, there was a free kayak for use, so I got little bit of kayaking in before the waves picked up.
QCT is quite different than many other multi-day tracks- for one - water taxis carry your pack for you. So no heavy loads while climbing steep hills. 2nd - other than campsites, there are also hostels as well as 5 star resorts along the track. Though I decided to keep it rugged (and cheap) and therefore camped the entire time.
There were a few of us (an older English couple, a younger German couple, and 2 Kiwi friends) that had met at the 2nd campsite and we basically stuck together through the rest of nights - though we each walked the tracks at our own paces.
Upon arriving back in Picton, I quickly showered and then relaxed in the spa pool (hot tub for us Americans) I spend the next day relaxing some more. Tomorrow (feb 12) I head to wine country (Blenheim) for a couple of days and then it’s back on the stray bus 1 more day for a few days in the laidback hippy town of Nelson. After that, I stay with stray for at least 10 days before arriving in Dunedin.


Tot: 2.175s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 11; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0503s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.3mb