Four Day Marlborough Sounds Corporate Journey

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Overview
This 4-5 day adventure Journey  in the Marlborough Sounds will energise and bond your team. The Sounds are an unspoilt paradise for those who love the sea, tranquillity, the natural world, freedom walking or outdoor adventure. The broad pathway of the Queen Charlotte Track lures walkers of all ages and experience along the ridgelines of the Sounds, through virgin native forests and down to blue-green coves fringed with ferns. Venture out on a cruise, charter a boat, paddle in these peaceful waterways, observe rare birds, dolphins, seals and penguins, catch a fish for dinner and relax at a hidden hideaway.

It’s all deceptively accessible from the towns, yet feels a stunning, natural world away. The Sounds remain relatively undiscovered, a retreat from the mainstream although, if you need it, civilisation is unexpectedly close at hand. For centuries, the Marlborough Sounds have offered a safe harbour to travellers. First to Maori traders and war parties; then to European explorers, such as Captain James Cook and Dumont D’Urville; and now to visitors seeking new landscapes and rejuvenating experiences.

The Marlborough Sounds encompass twenty percent of New Zealand’s total coastline. This intricate maze of waterways is made up of three Sounds, the Queen Charlotte Sound, the Kenepuru Sound and the Pelorus Sound. Within the area is pristine native forest – ranging from towering 800 year old rimu trees, to lush punga tree ferns and beautiful native orchids leading down to picturesque shorelines. The myriad of bays, coves and inlets are perfect for exploring by sea kayak.

The Queen Charlotte Sound is the most well known of the three Sounds, and is dominated by bush-clad shorelines, deep bays and coves. The Kenepuru Sound is the smallest of the three Sounds. The Pelorus Sound has expansive waterways, with some exposed areas; it is made up of beautiful sea kayaking areas (such as Tennyson Inlet and Nydia Bay), while much of the rest of the Pelorus Sound is predominantly farmland and forestry.

Stretching between the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sound is the Queen Charlotte Track which runs almost the entire length of Queen Charlotte Sound. The track stretches from Ship Cove to Anakiwa – 71 kilometres (approximately 45 miles) of spectacular walking track with stunning views and contrasting landscapes, passing through historic sites, secluded bays and lush coastal bush. Although the Queen Charlotte Track can be walked from either end, the recommended start is at Ship Cove.

Simply Wild Journeys offers a Five Day Corporate Adventure Journey through Queen Charlotte Sound, sailing, hiking, sea kayaking and mountain biking, with the option of a spectacular helicopter flight over the Marlborough Sounds and a visit to a remote farm on rugged D’Urville Island before flying back to Nelson. The trip can be customised to suit your team and budget.

“Our group trip to the Marlborough Sounds was a fantastic experience for all concerned. It provided some very rare and special opportunities amidst some absolutely stunning scenery. Significant physical challenges and moments of exhilaration were punctuated with times of total relaxation, reflection and meaningful discussion. The luxurious lodgings and outstanding food were a brilliant way to finish each day. There will be many lasting memories and there were special moments for everyone on the team. This environment provided everyone with unique insights on other team members. It has strengthened relationships and helped build great pride in the jersey.

Rob, Sue and Emma, the guides from Simply Wild Journeys, could not have done a better job in their organisation and coordination of our group. They maintained very high levels of professionalism and safety standards but also ensured a fun and relaxed atmosphere. They clearly shared our values and appeared to enjoy our company as much as we did theirs. Likewise, all of their providers were great people. This was our third trip with Simply Wild and we look forward to the next one!”

Jason McMaster – Acting General Manager – Tradies Sydney

Itinerary

Day One

Your group arrives in the seaside town of Picton late afternoon and has time to enjoy the town before boarding our large launch which will be your accommodation for the night (sleeps about 15 people).Around 5.00pm, the boat departs on a one hour cruise to the outer Sounds and a quiet bay for the night, where we’ll rendezvous with the 65ft traditional sailing yacht “Steadfast”, which you will be sailing on the next day. Dinner is served on the launch.

Day Two

Next day you transfer to SV “Steadfast” for the 3 – 4 hour trip to historic Ship Cove via Blumine, Long and Motuara Islands. You’ll have the opportunity to take on crew and helming tasks on the yacht if you wish.Ship Cove holds key cultural heritage stories told in a beautiful sheltered cove with a lush coastal forest backdrop. Totaranui (Queen Charlotte Sound) was visited by the great Polynesian explorer Kupe, during his exploration of this country, which his wife named Aotearoa. This site is internationally recognised as Captain James Cook’s favourite New Zealand base during his three wide-ranging voyages of exploration. In all, his expeditions spent 170 days at this anchorage between his first visit in January 1770 and final departure during his last voyage in February 1777. Cook found this place provided a central and secure anchorage with good wood, water and fishing where he could prepare and provision his ships and restore his crews.

From Ship Cove you begin your Journey in earnest, south along the Queen Charlotte Track for 71 kilometres to Anakiwa; hiking, sea kayaking and mountain biking. The track is not particularly steep, but it is undulating, with hills ranging from sea level to a maximum of 400 metres. Heading south from Ship Cove you begin the track with a 2 hour walk to Resolution Bay. Climbing away from Ship Cove, the beauty of the walkway is soon revealed. A deep canopy shades the profusion of tree ferns, the occasional nikau palm and other plants. A lookout offers a pleasant respite and good views of Motuara Island and the outer Queen Charlotte Sound and across to the North Island. If visibility is good you will be able to see both Kapiti Island and the North Island of New Zealand in the distance.

From here you’ll climb over the Ship Cove/Resolution Bay Saddle and descend into Resolution Bay itself. From Resolution Bay the track follows an old bridle path ascending over a ridge and leads down into Endeavour Inlet. The gently inclining track passes through stands of kamahi and then beech forest as it passes over a saddle. Then it’s a fairly easy walk down past Tawa Bay, before the track then gradually descends through sections of manuka, five finger and mahoe, followed by a magnificent stand of original native bush and crystal clear streams. Slowly glimpses of the nearby sea and foreshore come into view, and soon you’ll be at your accommodation for the night, Furneaux Lodge.

Day Three

We start the day with a short watertaxi ride to Camp Bay, before beginning the most challenging and rewarding 23.6 kilometre section of the track. After climbing away steeply from Camp Bay, sweeping panoramas of the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds come into view. Traversing the ridge, the true magnificence of the Sounds is inescapable when you are greeted with an incredible panorama of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds through the entire 360 degrees. Make sure you’ve got your camera handy!

The trek to Torea Saddle/Portage Bay is interspersed with one breath taking vista after another. Eventually the track twists steeply down to the road between Portage Bay and Torea Bay. This road, or saddle, is the same as that used by the Maori to haul their wakas (traditional Maori canoe) between the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds, saving many hours of paddling. We’ll walk down to Torea wharf to meet a watertaxi which will take us to the award winning five star Bay of Many Coves resort for the night.

Day Four

Travelling back to Torea Bay, We’ll collect our kayaks and prepare ourselves for the 2 – 3 hour paddle along the Sound to sheltered Mistletoe Bay, stopping to feed the tame snapper at Double Cove. Arriving at Mistletoe Bay, there will be time for a swim off the wharf and lunch, before coming to grips with your mountain bike for the final 2 ½ hour, 12 kilometre section to Anakiwa. This section is graded for novices, but if you haven’t been on a bike for a while, you’ll find it testing until the track widens and becomes easier as we near Anakiwa.

Arriving at Anakiwa, which is the base for Outward Bound’s New Zealand operation, we’ll be met by our water taxi for the ride to Raetihi Lodge in Kenepuru Sound..

Day Five

Depending on your schedules, we’ll take you through Havelock by watertaxi and coach to either Blenhiem or Nelson for your onward travel.

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We specialize in bespoke adventures so you can customise any journey. Please contact us for further details.

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