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Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Trails

Sample the finest walks in the upper South Island, including the best sections of the Queen Charlotte and Abel Tasman Tracks on this outstanding itinerary. This fully lodge based accommodated walk completes a circuit of the northern South Island, beginning with the stunning Kaikoura Peninsula Walk before taking in the spectacular scenery of the Marlborough Sounds from the Queen Charlotte Track. You'll also nestle into the tranquillity of a remote eco lodge, weave your way through small bays and beautiful bushland along the Abel Tasman Walkway as well as retrace your steps along this magical trail from the decks of a yacht. The amazing scenery isn't finished yet as you divert inland from the coastal trails to Nelson Lakes to complete a circular track that provides wonderful views of craggy mountains and beech forests. Return to Christchurch via Hanmer Springs for a well deserved soak in its therapeutic hot pools.


6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
5 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
1 night in an eco lodge (shared facilities)
Professional qualified driver/guide
Private vehicle transport
Water taxi access to Queen Charlotte walkway
Sailing boat on Abel Tasman trek
Packs and poles (on request if required) - please let our staff know in advance
Water and snacks while trekking
Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
New Zealand Goods and Service Tax (GST)
Enjoy full and half day hikes amidst some of NZ's best scenery
Marvel in the magnificent scenery of the Marlborough Sounds and the Queen Charlotte Sound
Relax in the comfort and hospitality of your own private eco lodge
Sail the beautiful coastal waters of the Abel Tasman National Park after the hike to Torrent Bay
Take in the panoramic views of Nelson Lakes National Park from the bushline track
Climb to the summit of Mt Isobel at 1324 metres
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $2,580
Start Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
End Location
New Zealand
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
5 to 14
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Adventure, Cycling/Trekking
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
24 Mar 201930 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $2,580
24 Nov 201930 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $2,580
26 Jan 202001 Feb 2020AvailableAUD $2,580
21 Mar 202027 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $2,580
Day 1
We will collect you from a central city location in Christchurch around 08:00am before we drive north to Kaikoura taking approx 2.5hours. The drive is scenic and we time our arrival for lunch and then walk the Kaikoura peninsula walkway. This will take approximately 1.5 -2 hours before we continue the drive to reach Picton, a further 2 hours away and a final short walk to stretch our legs. Drive to Picton (2 hours) and do short bush walk. Walk time: 1.5 - 2 hours
Day 2
The nearby Queen Charlotte track is a spectacular ridge top walk above the Sound. We access this via return water taxi and a short climb to the track, from where we spend the rest of the day weaving down through native bush with glimpses into the many bays below. From Te Mahia saddle on the Queen Charlotte track we gradually descend on the walkway to Anakiwa for our return journey to Picton by water taxi. Overnight again at Picton. Walking time: 4 - 6.5 hours
Day 3
Our next two day trek starts out of a secluded bay and involves firstly a scenic drive around the head of the sound and then a backcountry road, to arrive at the start of the track. The old logging trail was cut through the native bush and offers a beautiful benched trail that weaves through regenerating native and exotic forests, steadily rising to a saddle where we break for a picnic lunch. From here we gradually descend into the next Bay and overnight stay at our Lodge. The rest of the afternoon provides a great opportunity to relax on the couches on the porch or to explore the walking tracks and native bush. Walking time: 3 - 4 hours
Day 4
After a hearty breakfast, we pack and depart our beautiful accommodation, and follow the trail that weaves through virgin bush and beachfront. The trail then steadily climbs to a low saddle, and eventually descending to the neighbouring bay and around the shoreline to our waiting coach. Time dependant, we can explore and swim before our mid afternoon departure out to Nelson and onto Motueka and our accommodation for the next two nights. Walking time: 4 - 4.5 hours
Day 5
Today we drive down to the start of the Abel Tasman track and have a half day hike into Torrent Bay on the famous Abel Tasman walkway. The track is well formed and drops into several sheltered bays and beaches. At midday we have lunch overlooking Torrent Bay and then meet our return yacht for an exciting sail around the heads and back to our coach and then our accommodation. Walking time: 3 - 4 hours
Day 6
Leaving Moteuka we have a short 1 hour drive inland into the Nelson Lake National Park and at St Arnaud we have a choice of a shorter 2 hour loop in the Lake Rotoiti Nature Recovery area or a 5 hr circuit to the upper slopes of Mt Roberts. This track climbs steeply to the bushline and the summit of the ridgeline with awesome views over the lake & St Arnaud range, before returning via a loop track back to the coach and our accommodation. The bush is stunning and Lake Rotoiti a magic location. Walking options: 2 hours or 5 hours
Day 7
Intensive pest eradication has meant native bird numbers are increasing in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Early risers this morning will have the chance to take a short bush walk and experience the morning songs of the forest or "dawn chorus." We then drive via the spectacular Buller Gorge and Lewis Pass to Hanmer, where we detour to Jacks Pass and hike via the subalpine scrub and open grassland to the summit of Mt Isobel (1324 metres) for panoramic views of the Hanmer Basin and beyond. Late afternoon we return to Christchurch and drop you off in central Christchurch around 6-7pm. Walking time: 3 hours