Unforgettable views from Queen Charlotte Track


The sea lays like beautiful blue velvet in front of us. Suddenly a seal pops up not far from the boat, in the mouth it has a large octopus, the seal flicks the octopus forth and back and smashing it on the surface. I have never seen anything like it and stand there with my jaw dropped. Octopus is one of the seals favorite meals in Queen Charlotte Sound. Not a bad way to start the day with such an awesome experience.

A seal eating an octopus.

Another seal we saw on the way out.

Like the explorer James Cook, we are on our way to Ship Cove. A small sheltered bay in the outskirts of Queen Charlotte Sound. When Cook sailed around New Zealand 250 years ago he stopped in this bay for over 100 days to repair his ship Endeavor and load up with drinking water and exchange food whit the local Maori who lived there.

Cooks monument in Ship Cove.

We are going with Beachcomber Cruises from Picton and get to spend half an hour at this historic site before we move on. The captain on the boat tells us loads of interesting facts and also funny stories about the sounds.

On the beach in Ship Cove there is a large monument to Cook’s honor and the view from here across the sound is beautiful this January morning.

This is where we started our walk, the beach near Ferneaux Lodge in Endeavour inlet.

Our main destination of the day is a little further into the sound, a bit south of Ship Cove. We’ll start our walk from Ferneaux Lodge all the way into the Endeavor inlet, named after Cook’s ship. In front of us awaits just over 11 kilometers of hiking with incredible views.

After other hikers, mountain bikers and holidaymakers have been dropped off at their destinations in the sound, we arrive to the pier at Ferneaux Lodge just after 11am. The water bottles are loaded with cold nice water and in the backpack we have snacks and lunch.

We set course for our goal for today, Punga Cove. The walk goes on a winding path through a regenerating native bush with nice views of the Endeavor inlet. Once the English came here and cut the trees down to farm the land. Now this part has reverted to nature and the forest today is lush and once again the bird song can be heard along this stretch of the coast. It’s easy to walk without any steep parts, we can just focus on enjoying the nice views we are given around every bend on this trail.

After we eaten our lunch, we only have just over an hour left to Punga Cove. The time flies when we are having an amazing day. In Punga Cove there is a cozy little restaurant and café and a brownie with vanilla ice cream is the perfect ending to a great day.

Shortly after we finish our sweet treat we are picked up by Beachcomber Cruises to slowly cruise back to Picton in this beautiful, unforgettable sound.

The hike on Queen Charlotte Track is a collaboration with Beachcomber Cruises. All I written about the trip is my own opinions and I would never write something that I don’t stand for. All posts are written by me and are written based on how I have experienced it.