New Zealand Walk: Queen Char­lotte Track - Here we come!

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - www.walk­ingnewzeal­and.co.nz

We’re all go­ing on a sum­mer hol­i­day No more work­ing for a week or two. Fun and laugh­ter on our sum­mer hol­i­day, No more wor­ries for me or you, For a week or two. We’re go­ing where the sun shines brightly We’re go­ing where the sea is blue. We’ve all seen it on the movies, Now let’s see if it’s true.

They say that a change is as good as a hol­i­day and if COVID-19 has taught us any­thing at all, it’s that change can re­mind us of what is im­por­tant in life. Fam­ily, friends, good times, fun in the sun and laugh­ter. And, of course, the im­por­tance of be­ing kind.

The op­er­a­tors be­hind the Queen Char­lotte Track in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds know some­thing about most of these things, fun in the sun be­ing one of them! Lo­cated in one of the sun­ni­est re­gions in New Zealand, the great sum­mer cli­mate is one of the at­trac­tions they are keen to en­cour­age New Zealan­ders to come and ex­pe­ri­ence for them­selves this com­ing sum­mer.

There’s also his­tory here too. The Queen Char­lotte Track of­fers a spec­tac­u­lar 72km hike from the his­toric Mere­toto/Ship Cove through to pic­turesque Anakiwa.

Ship Cove is a place that fea­tures high on the list of most iconic his­toric places for New Zealan­ders to visit as it was here the first sus­tained con­tact be­tween the New Zealand Maori and the Euro­pean took place.

This came to na­tional promi­nence ear­lier this year as New Zealand com­mem­o­rated 250 years since the ar­rival of Cap­tain James Cook in what became the pre­cur­sor to Euro­pean set­tle­ment in New Zealand. Mere­toto/Ship Cove was the epi­cen­tre of English nav­i­ga­tor Cap­tain James Cook’s ex­plo­rations in the South Pa­cific – a snug cove in the outer Queen Char­lotte Sound where he re­plen­ished wa­ter sup­plies, rested his men and re­paired his ships on five dif­fer­ent vis­its be­tween 1770 and 1777.

Words by Juliet Gib­bons, pho­tos by Richard Briggs Pho­tog­ra­phy and Daniel Forster.

Above: Skyline ridges along the track of­fer un­ri­valled views of the unique sunken river val­leys of the Marl­bor­ough Sounds.

Bri­tish sovereignt­y was first pro­claimed by Cook over the South Is­land when the Bri­tish flag was for­mally raised on the sum­mit of Mo­tu­ara Is­land, op­po­site Ship Cove, on 31st Jan­uary 1770.

As well as its his­tor­i­cal con­nec­tions, the Queen Char­lotte Track is a truly unique New Zealand walk due to its va­ri­ety of land­scapes as the well-de­fined track passes through lush coastal for­est, me­an­ders around tran­quil bays and tra­verses skyline ridges af­ford­ing un­sur­passed views of the Queen Char­lotte and Kenepuru Sounds.

The ter­rain is re­garded as un­du­lat­ing with hills rang­ing from sea level to just over 400 me­tres and most of the track is wide and benched which makes for a pleas­ant stroll.

The trail crosses a mix­ture of pub­lic and pri­vate land, a unique part­ner­ship be­tween the

Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion, QCTLC (Queen Char­lotte Track Land Co-op­er­a­tive) and Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cil, and vis­i­tors are re­quired to have pur­chased the ap­pro­pri­ate pass if cross­ing the pri­vate land sec­tions.

You will find real New Zealand here – where friendly lo­cals wel­come you to their door, your bags are trans­ferred each day and the ac­cess is easy while you ad­ven­ture. This is a walk­ing track

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