New Zealand: Marlborough Sounds

Michael and I traveled to New Zealand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

[singlepic=362,200,,,right]We had a few days before we needed to make our way to the Nelson area for our Abel Tasman experience, so we decided to explore the Queen Charlotte Sound located in the Marlborough Sounds. This area offers access to the North Island via ferries from Picton to Wellington. And it also offers some beautiful hikes and kayaking.

The Queen Charlotte Track stretches 71km (44 miles) and passes through coastal forest and pastures. Along the way are various campsites and lodges, many only accessible by ferry or foot. If you are doing the entire track, or even multi-day hikes, you can even send your gear ahead to your next lodging via water taxi.

[singlepic=375,150,,,right]We drove the windy roads towards the top of the sound to stay at Punga Cove Resort. Nestled in Punga Cove with views of Mt. Stokes and Mt. Furneaux, the property offered everything from backpacker cabins to private A-Frame chalets. We stayed in the lodge, which hosted several bedrooms with a shared living space and kitchen. A nice way to have a private room and to meet some fellow hikers.

The next day for our hike we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We had clear skies all along as we made our way from Punga Cover to Resolution Bay. The 15km hike winded around the water through forest and pastures – breathtaking views all around. Four hours later the site of Furneaux Lodge at our final destination was a welcome one as we were ready for a hearty meal.

We then relaxed by the waterside as we awaited our water taxi back to Punga Cove and a much deserved beer on the docks.

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