Queen Charlotte Track Day #1: The New Zealand “Boardwalk”

Monday, February 17, 2014

Start Time: 12pm
Arrived at The Woolshed at 5pm
Distance: 15km
Weather: Sunny

We had heard nothing but wonderful things about the Queen Charlotte Track at the top of the South Island, and I was excited that we were on our way! We would be spending the next four days hiking 71 kilometers (44 miles) up and down the intricate Marlborough Sounds. Our water taxi departed Picton for Ship Cove, and the cruise to the far end of the track was stunning. We even passed a pod of dolphins leaving one of the many inlets.

I was a little worried about the steepness of the trail, but the hot bartender from Motueka told us that (and these are his exact words) the Queen Charlotte is a “boardwalk.” Well, I am from Virginia Beach where we have a proper boardwalk, and let me just be the first to tell you that the first thirty minutes of the Queen Charlotte were an intense uphill climb. It got so brutal that every time we turned a corner to find another incline, I started naming them like hurricanes, and this Category 5 was kicking my butt.

The rest of the day finally leveled out, and we arrived at the beautiful Endeavour Inlet later in the afternoon. We stayed at The Woolshed which felt like luxury after the huts we slept in on the Heaphy Track. We had rubbish bins, a fully stocked kitchen, a hot shower, a pillow to sleep on and free range eggs for breakfast! People often accuse us of “cheating” because we are not pitching a tent and camping and we also have luggage transport from each of our accommodations. It is like pure Disney magic when we arrive for the night with our bags waiting for us, and considering I packed two chocolate bars weighing half a kilogram and a block of cheese weighing the same, that is a good 2.2 pounds of two grocery items alone off my back. Nevertheless, I thoroughly resent these types of cynics. We are still traveling the same physical distance. What’s that phrase? Work smarter, not harder!

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