Queen Charlotte Track - 4 day, 71+ km hike!
Trip Start Nov 20, 2013
208Trip End Nov 24, 2014
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The walk itself wasn't such a difficult one. There were some steep hills early on, but for the most part we were on a path of dirt, rocks, and leaves. While this hike is significantly longer than the 19.4 km climb up Tongariro earlier in the week, it isn't near as challenging. The first couple days of the track are shorter, while the last 2 days are about 23km or 7-8 hours each day.
We arrived at our accommodations just after 4 hours into our walk (about 3:45). The lodge is completely isolated from anything else and is right on the water. They even have weddings here. Most of the guests take a boat here for their stay and enjoy some rest and relaxation. After arriving, we laid on the dock for a couple hours. It was incredibly quiet and the conditions were perfect. We got the cheapest room which is still more than we're used to paying. It's a bit strange that we have a private room, but in the room are 2 sets of bunk beds. Our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived. The company that brought us out to the starting point by boat also has a service where they take your luggage to the next accommodations while you do the hike
We knew there was a restaurant here and figured it would be expensive. So we loaded our suitcases up with stuff we could prepare ourselves for dinner thinking it would be a way to save money. BUT........here they have no kitchen for guests' use. We've been used to staying in hostels with a kitchen. While this place advertises to backpackers, there's no kitchen. They do have a kettle with 4 coffee mugs in the room so we will attempt to prepare our Mr. Noodles by boiling water in the kettle and pouring it in the coffee mug that has a tiny spoon in it. We'll see how that goes, but since we brought all this food, we should at least try to eat it!
We had our bags packed and were ready to go a little after 9:30am. Our luggage had already been picked up to be taken to our next accommodation. Today's hike was not as scenic as yesterday's, as there were fewer spots to look out at the water and mountains from. Nonetheless, it was still beautiful. Our walk today took us just about 3 hours and it felt really quick. On yesterday's walk we passed a couple large birds that came quite close to us. Jason didn't enjoy this too much
Similar to yesterday, we only passed a few people along our way to Punga Cove Resort, but many, many, many bugs! We arrived at the resort shortly after 12:30 pm and our luggage arrived shortly after us. This resort is beautiful! Our room is much nicer than yesterday's, but cost us a little more too. Thankfully hot water in the shower won't cost us $2 each here like it did last night and this place has a kitchen for us to use! This resort doesn't provide keys for the rooms. We can only lock our room door when we are in there. It's a little different than what are used to.
After settling in we borrowed some racquets and a shuttlecock and attempted to play badminton. We lasted about 15 minutes before the wind started making it challenging. We found some comfy lounge chairs and sat for hours facing the incredible scenery. It was extremely peaceful
So far this walk has been an interesting experience because while we are walking we feel like the only two people in the world. Then when we arrive at an accommodation we are back with civilization. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Six hours and 24kms later and we've reached our final accommodation along the Track. Today's walk was the most challenging of the three days so far. It started with many steep and long inclines and had many more along the way. Again, the views were stunning and the water looked turquoise today. As we ascended and descended many times throughout the day, we knew there would always be a breathtaking view to make it worth it! The weather forecast had called for rain today, but we lucked out with another sunny and warm day. By the end our walk we both felt tired.
Treetops is about a kilometre away from the track on the top of a steep hill; how cruel
We were packed and ready to leave this morning a little after 9 am. We had to climb a steep hill, about a kilometre long just to get to the track. What a way to start our 21 km hike for the day! Of course the first part of the actual walk today was also about an hour and a half of uphill! Thankfully after this first bit, the rest of the hike was much easier today. On average, we walked 5km/hr including stops for food, pictures, and sunscreen. The views were stunning throughout all four days of this walk. The weather could not have been more perfect for these four days either; that is until we were on our way by boat back to Picton. That's when the rain started and we were grateful for the timing of this!
We both thoroughly enjoyed the peacefulness and tranquility of our surroundings on this walk. We loved all the exercise we've got in the last four days as well as the relaxation once arriving at each accommodation. Tonight, back in Picton we treated ourselves by going out for dinner and made sure to be back in time to get our free chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream at Sequoia Hostel!