Having left the North Island by air, we started the Queen Charlotte Track (QCT) by sea.
We walked three of the four legs of the QCT, staying at different lodges each night. The great thing with this walk is being able to hike with just a day pack while your main bags are shuttled from point to point by water taxis. Very civilized and perfect for those of us who aren’t accustomed to backpacking. We spent nights at Furneaux Lodge, Mahana and Portage Resort—all highly recommended! From Portage, walkers will typically hike one more day south before catching a water taxi back to Picton. But we were on a compressed timeframe so skipped the last leg and grabbed the morning boat to Picton to pick up our rental car. From here, we took two days to travel down the west coast so we could make it to Queenstown in time to make our next walk—the Routeburn Track.
Next up, the last third of our trip: New Zealand-South of South.