Marlborough Stories and Tips

Getting to and from the Queen Charlotte Track

Even getting to the Queen Charlotte Walk and back is an adventure in itself. I don't know of anywhere else where the only way to get to the start of a hiking trail is through a boat. Essentially, for those of you who want to hike only sections of the Queen Charlotte Wal, you would determine the starting point for your hike, then book a ride on a boat that would take you there. The skipper then asks where you want to be picked up, and based on the estimated walking time, tells you where and when he will come to pick you up. The trick of course is that you better be punctual, or the boat will leave without you. The problem of course is that unless you get to the starting trail very early, and other walkers or tourists want to go to your pick-up destination, you may miss the boat and not be picked up until the skipper has a reason to return to the pick-up place. And if you are walking in the off-season--I am not sure when the off-season is, but we were walking in February, and there were very few people walking that particular track--missing your pick-up time is like trusting to your fate. That's one reason to pay attention to the time. The day we were there, we ran into someone who missed the earlier boat and was now unsure whether he would be picked up. Without camping equipment, he was really stuck, unless he could convince our skipper to take him on. Luckily, our boat had some space.

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