Queen Charlotte Track

(This map is from the Queen Charlotte Track website.)

The morning of April 19th, I think that was the day I started the Queen Charlotte Track. I'd booked a 10am water taxi to the start of the track at Ship Cove. This gave me enough time to have breakfast and and pack a lunch before Lynne from Tombstone Backpackers dropped me off at the wharf. My pack was hella heavy. It probably weighed somewhere around 20 kilos (44lbs). You're only supposed to take what you need for the track, but since I was planning on catching the ferry to Wellington straight away afterwards, I had to bring everything with me. It took about an hour to get to Ship Cove by boat. It was a somewhat miserable morning on account of the rain and cold. I was wearing my trusty fake North Face jacket and my wool mittens. I sat with a nice middle-aged couple from Israel on the way there. They gave me crackers to eat during our tea time :-)

Yay! Ship Cove! This is where most people start the track since it's easiest to get a water taxi to here than the other end of the track. It was raining pretty hard when I got dropped off. Two other ladies also got off here. Everyone on the boat wished us good luck as we left the boat. The first part of the track was pretty tough, especially in the rain. It was a steady uphill climb for at least a good half hour. But most of the track was under trees, and after an hour of so the rain stopped. I stopped at a lookout and ate my lunch standing up because of the rain.

I just think it's so gorgeous here.

Woohoo! Three hours to Endeavour Inlet! That's where I was headed. On a nice day, I don't think it takes 3 hours, but the trail was especially muddy and took longer to navigate.

This is Day One's progress. 15 kilometres the first day, approximately 9.3 miles.

This was a pretty idyllic portion of the track.

Portions of the track cross private property.

Second lunch break at another lookout. These are wekas. They are another of New Zealand's flightless birds. They are not afraid of people and will try to take your food. The other people just happen to also be Americans.

I was a bit concerned about the accomodation I'd booked along the track. I didn't know a thing about them when I booked them except the location. But by 4 O'clock I was tired of walking and glad to see the sign pointing to Furneaux Lodge. I was delighted when I saw the place. Then when I checked in, I was bumped up to nicer bunks rooms with fully made beds. And I had the room to myself that night! They only catch was that you had to pay for hot showers. So, I decided I wasn't that dirty and skipped the hot shower.

The jetty above is where the boat delivers our packs while we walk. When I checked in, my bag was waiting for me at the lodge.

I had been booked into the most basic backpacker lodge because the nicer bunks had been fully booked by a group of 13 kiwis from Auckland. But they were upgraded to private cabins, and I was then upgraded to one of the freed up bunks. High season is December-January, so there was plenty of room. I went to check out "The Croft" and to use the kitchen there. This is the bunkhouse I was originally booked into. It looks quaint from the outside, but it's pretty rustic on the inside and there's not heat when it's cold. Really glad for the upgrade, especially during the cold evening while I was huddled in front of the heater in my nice private room.

Me in front of the heater eating my spaghetti dinner.

These are feijoas. They had a tree full of these delicious fruit. They weren't ripe though. Too bad.