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Robin John’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 14 Sep 2011

Location: Punga Cove, Queen Charlotte Tk, New Zealand

MapOn Monday, I caught a water bus, actaually a small, fast (24 knots) twin-hull, from Picton to Ship Cove, about 1.5 hrs journey. Ship Cove is the start point for the Queen Charlotte Track, but also has strong historical connections. It was the place where Captain Cook found landfall in 1770 after 1 year at sea when he needed to take on fresh water and other supplies. He subsequently visited the place on many occasions and it was the place where relations with the local Maori tribes were first developed. Today, the only thing there is a large Cook Memorial, with a number of explanatory panels explaining the history. No-one lives there, it is just a beach, a rather quiet and idyllic spot in the sun. I then set off walking the Queen Charlotte Track, broken into 4 sections as 4miles, 14m, (then a rest day), 16m and 14 m. The first night I stayed at a remote lodge at Resolution Bay (named after one of Cook's ships), with no mains electricity but the cabin had a roaring log fire - very welcoming.
Yesterday, I walked to Punga Cove, staying in a cabin here, a much larger place, with internet access (slow), a phone, but no mobile phone signal. There are many scattered coves all around Queen Charlotte Sound (named after the wife of George III, on the throne for Cook's voyages), almost all only accessible by sea and generally used as holiday accommodation. The walking has been excellent (the good weather helps), going up from the shoreline to a ridge or saddle giving wonderful views back down into the Sound and the coves. It is all very peaceful, with just the occasional sound of a water bus on one of its regular journeys visiting the coves. Today I have had a rest day to save me energy for a big walk tomorrow, to Portage, a 16m walk with lots of up.
The internet here is too slow to upload photos, so I will wait until later in the week to post photos of some of the views.