Sunday 12 August 2012

Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand

What have I been doing instead of blogging ~ as you know I hiked the Queen Charlotte track.

We walked, and walked and walked through rain and sunshine days.

The beauty of the Marlborough Sounds.

History :: The first known European to visit the Marlborough Sounds was the famous English explorer, Captain James Cook, on the HMS Endeavour.”Queen Charlotte” was the name he gave the Sound. The Maori name is “Totaranui”, reflecting the totara trees growing there.

Cook sailed into Ship Cove, today the start of the Queen Charlotte Track, on January 17, 1770 and made this small cove his South Pacific base for the next seven years. It was here the first social interaction between South Island Maori and the European took place. (painting by  John Webber 1777, Royal Maritime Museum) When the first European pioneers arrived they travelled by boat and formed trails along the foreshore. Other parts of the track, created by private landowners and  initially know as the Kenepuru Walkway, passes over  farmland and ridge tops, adding to the diversity of the  walkway.

The Queen Charlotte Track, from Ship Cove to Anakiwa,  was officially named and opened in 1991. Today the 71km track is a public/private partnership, made up of private land, Department of Conservation land and  Marlborough District Council “paper roads”.

A highlight of the trip was catching the boat to Bay of Many Coves Resort for dinner. We enjoyed the exceptional hospitality of thei 5 star luxury resort from the moment we stepped onto the jetty at 4pm.

The signature hot chocolate warmed our souls while we read glossy magazines and chatted nonchalantly.

As the sunset the Taittinger champagne was popped and our gourmet experience began.

Executive Chef, Hannes Bareiter. Hannes has a natural flare for creative gastronomy that delighted our senses. All the dishes were superb, and feeling very sated we returned to the boat to head home. Next time we must stay the night!


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