Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand

Love in a Tent loved the QCT, posting a detailed trip report:

… We randomly decided to spend 4 days doing the 3-5 day trip, without having first checked on details like, say, the distance. So we were a little surprised to see that it was 71km long – that’s longer than our 5-day trek on the St. James Walkway! In order to complete it in 4 days, we would have to walk an average of 18km per day. That’s pretty far for us, with full packs on. But we figured it must be such easy terrain that it wouldn’t be a problem. …

There are five Dept. of Conservation campsites along the track (no huts though), and a few private ones. The track is very popular because there are also a range of other accommodation options, ranging from budget hostels to fancy resorts. So lots of people stay in comfortable rooms with hot showers and restaurant meals while they experience the walkway. One of the other convenient features of the track is that you can arrange to have your pack (or suitcase I suppose) transferred to your next overnight stop by boat, so that you can walk with only a day pack. Both resort-stayers and campers tend to use this service, which makes walking longer distances easier and more pleasant.

But being gluttons for punishment, we opted to carry our big, heavy packs the whole way. Why? Ostensibly so that we weren’t tied to any specific destination on a given day. But really, I can’t think of any good reason why we did it. If I did the track again, I’d certainly opt for the pack transfer service. It was the same price as the water taxi with no pack transfers, so why the hell not! …

Love in a Tent

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Author Peter Potterfield and local expert Ray Waters hiked it last November:

… Most people take four days to do this impressive 71 kilometer route up the spine of the peninsula separating Queen Charlotte Sound from Kenepuru Sound, but if you make the long trek out to Punga Cove on day one you can do it in three long days, about 23 kilometers per day. A unique feature of the route is that it’s a bit like trekking in Nepal–you can do it with a day pack, while the boat, and not a yak or a porter, takes the rest of your gear onto the next stop. The light load makes the long days no problem. …

New Zealand Hikes: The Queen Charlotte Track – Great Outdoors

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This is a fantastic destination for all levels of experience.

besthike.com information page – Queen Charlotte Track

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