Te Araroa Trail Queen Charlotte Track
Somebody switched winter back on this week! As I write, I’m wearing the puffa jacket and 2 merino layers, in the not-so-balmy Marlborough Sounds. It’s unusual as it is generally pretty balmy at this time of year!
I had a sound night’s sleep at the YHA and headed out at 8am for a spot of breakfast in the Gusto cafe in Picton. Afterwards I popped into the pharmacy to get some saline solution for a suspected eye infection… grrr.
Water Taxi from Picton to Queen Charlotte Track
I headed over to the Cougarline water taxi, and randomly bumped into some friends who I know from Mount Maunganui – love it!!
Next, I picked up a day pack which Mathea (a lovely lady who’s reading my blog) dropped off for me. I packed my water, lunch and snacks, and dropped my big pack with the Cougarline boat guys.. to be dropped at Mathea’s jetty ‘the Pines’ where she was going to pick it up for me. I would then collect it on the way through later in the day. This was a little bit of South Island trail angel delight already!!
I got the 10am water taxi which headed North out of Picton to Ship Cove via some stops en route, to drop off supplies to residents of the bays. I arrived at Ship Cove around 11.20am. This was the place where James Cook first dropped anchor in the 1770’s, and where the first sustained contact between European and Maori took place.
Queen Chrarlotte Track
The Queen Charlotte Track is a 70Km walking/biking trail stretching from Shop Cove to Anakiwa. It takes you through beautiful forests, and along the beaches and coves of the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.
I reached the Pines around 1.30pm, and Mathea and Karen welcomed me, gave me a little tour of their wonderful garden and beautiful Airbnb garden hideaway (Clarice Buckland Hut). Then we had some tea and amazing home made fruit cake… 3 slices with butter, in case you’re wondering – plus the ladies let me take 2 slices away for later 🙂 We swapped hiking stories and I got some good advice about do’s and don’ts re. South island tramping.
I swapped packs and we all headed off in the direction of Endeavour Inlet as the ladies had a spot of beekeeping/honey gathering to attend to. As usual it was amazing to be hosted by such lovely Kiwis… a perfect start to my journey in the South.
I was hoping to get to Camp Bay, but it was getting chilly, and the Madsen campsite looked lovely. I called in and chatted to Kay and Tony (formerly of Lancashire, UK) about how the camp came to be. There were around 20 lovely sites on little terraces overlooking the sea – beautiful, which Tony had created himself with a great deal of hard work!
I enjoyed an early dinner and bed.