The Queen Charlotte Walk, the shining jewel of the South Island NZ

New Zealand Walking Tour:

Queen Charlotte Walk


Picton to Picton


4 days / 3 nights



Thinking ahead? Dates for 2024 2025 summer available now

Current availability, as below:

  • Start Date Status
  • Sun 24 Nov 2024
  • Sun 15 Dec 2024
  • Sun 26 Jan 2025
  • Sun 16 Feb 20251/2 share only
  • Sun 2 Mar 2025
  • Sun 23 Mar 2025
  • Sun 13 Apr 2025
Do you have another date in mind?
We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for a private tour for 10 or more friends
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Tucked away at the top of the South Island is the hidden gem that is the Marlborough Sounds.

Formed over 10,000 years ago after the last ice age when sea levels rose and drowned a series of deep valleys, the Marlborough Sounds consists of three main bodies of water (Pelorus, Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds) and also a number of secluded bays, coves and sandy inlets.It makes it one of the best places in New Zealand for exploring the outdoors, on land and water.
The walking track runs almost the entire length of the Queen Charlotte Sound, from Ship Cove to Anakiwa over 70km.
The terrain is undulating, with hills rising from sea level to 400 metres at the highest point.
Accompanied by a walking guide, you will enjoy learning of the early whalers and sealers and,in more recent times, the farmers and fisher folk that make their living from the land and the ocean.
Experience the grandeur of ridge-top views over the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds, lush coastal forest teeming with ferns and native birdlife as well as the challenge of a good days walking, with the promise of a comfortable bed and a sumptuous dinner at the end of each day.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1 Picton - Ship Cove - Endeavour Inlet

Location: Furneaux Lodge

Distance: 17km

Please make your way to the main town wharf, Picton (not Interislander Ferry terminal).

Your guide will be waiting to meet you at 8.30 am in front of the Cougarline water taxi office.

There will be a tour briefing and introduction to the other members of your walking group, after which you head out on the water taxi to the start of the Queen Charlotte Track.

Please come ready to walk with items you will need during the day in your day pack (we will supply lunch and a drink bottle for you) and have your overnight gear in a separate bag, this will be transported ahead of you to the lodge.

Your walk today takes you from Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet through virgin beech forest and bush, taking approximately 5 hours. From Ship Cove the track ascends and provides walkers with amazing views down into Resolution Bay and surrounding areas. If visibility is good, views as far as the Kapiti Islands and the North Island are able to be seen.

Following the track along the Tawa Saddle, gives way to further astounding views of the Endeavour Inlet. A short descent through magnificent native bush and crystal clear streams and then on to the shore line that leads you to your first nights accommodation.

Relax and unwind in this picturesque setting and enjoy dinner with your fellow walkers.

Day 2 Endeavour Inlet - Camp Bay

Location: Punga Cove Lodge

Distance: 11.5km

Day Two of The Queen Charlotte Walk is a relatively gentle day covering a distance of 11.5kms and takes approximately 4 hours. Walkers will follow the track from Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay. Following mainly coastal tracks you will walk around the inlet through the native bush to the delightful sounds of fantails and bellbirds.

Endeavour Head has a colourful history dating back to the 1880’s. It was originally a mining site of stibnite – an essential component of antimony used to produce pewter and harden steel. The mine employed over 400 people.

Walkers then pass through Big Bay and onto Camp Bay where Day Two ends. Spend the night relaxing in this idyllic spot.

Day 3 Camp Bay - Portage

Location: Portage Resort

Distance: 25km

Day Three is a demanding day, as you walk up to Kenepuru Saddle and follow the undulating ridgeline track for the remainder of the day. 

A challenging walk, taking approximately 8 hours, walkers are well rewarded by the breathtaking panoramic views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.

Day 4 Portage - Anakiwa - Picton

Distance: 20.5km

Day Four of The Queen Charlotte Walk provides walkers with more spectacular views as you climb the main ridge between Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds covering a distance of 20.5kms, on your way to Anakiwa. 

Take the time to look back over the distance covered during your walk and take in the breathtaking vistas. 

Continue following old bridle paths through regenerating forest that is home to fantails, weka, wax eyes and many more native New Zealand birds. 

Finally, your adventure ends with a gentle 3km walk through the magnificent beech forest to Anakiwa where your water taxi will pick you up and return you to Picton. Arrival time back in Picton is approximately 5pm at the main wharf where your tour finishes.

What’s Included


Each night you will stay in comfortable hotel, motel or bed and breakfast accommodation.

Rooms are double (one queen or king bed) or twin (2 separate beds). If you have a preference for a twin room, please let us know when you make your booking. All rooms have their own ensuite bathroom.

If you are a single traveller, you can nominate to share a room with another single of the same gender or pay an additional single supplement to secure a private room for the duration of the tour.

The single room supplement for this tour is $545

An experienced guide

The guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.


You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings. If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking. Alcohol is not included in the tour cost, but is available for purchase most nights.

Safety and Risk Management

To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.

Luggage & Transfers

Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.

Tour Kit Bag Exclusive to Tuatara Tours

To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a bag of useful goodies.

This will be given to you at the start of your tour.

All transport

Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)


Absolutely fantastic, guide great. Food and accommodation great. Would absolutely recommend.

Stephen E

Excellent, fun, beautiful scenery, good company.

Ann and Mike L

Well organised, great communication, well priced for inclusions.

Andy and Wendy

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Do you have 10 or more friends with another date in mind?

We can build a tour especially for your group!

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