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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Queen Charlotte Sound - Track and Anakiwa (Ann, knee, Cue, Wah)

Queen Charlotte Sound
Our time drew to a quick close on the north island as we headed back to Auckland from Rotorua and flew to Blenheim (Blen-nem) in NZ talk. Saturday morning on New Zealands roads wasn’t as bad as expected, a 4 to 4 ½ hr drive was reduced to 2 ¾ hrs.

The little metallic blue Holden (Chev) Barina (Spark) was a surprising improvement over the same colored Hyundai Accent we had out of Cairns. But over 100 kph. It started to show its twitchiness. I am reminded of Ralph Nader’s “unsafe at any speed” comments.

So when we arrived and were given a Toyota Corolla Hatch ( aka Matrix) in you guessed it metallic blue of the same shade as the 1st 2 rentals I began to wish I was playing the lottery. How am I going to tell them apart at a distance? One thing for sure, this Toyota is definitely a good vehicle.
Picton Harbor from our room
We take possession of the Toyota and head out to Havelock to take the reported scenic drive to Picton along part of the Queen Charlotte sound. Unfortunately due to the super twisty and narrow nature of the road no one got to see much with “lane departure warnings’ going off quite regularly and 36 kms of wild road. Saturday afternoon was also cloudy and a bit chilly and we began watching the weather for our impending hike from Ships Cove to Endeavor Inlet (15 kms).

As I looked out this morning disappointment set in, it was showering lightly and was very gloomy to the northwest, the direction the boat would take us to disembark on the trek. The 8 am. Mailboat headed out regardless and we decided to watch the weather and see if it improved. By 9:00 am the skies had lightened and we selected our 2nd choice for the hike, the same track but from the south end starting in Anakiwa and our destination for the day would be the highest lookout at Grove Arm viewpoint, some 6.5+ kms north on the sound making the trek 13 kms + in distance overall.
Ferry Traffic from North Island
The Queen Charlotte track is one of New Zealand’s pride and joys, and we soon came to realize why. The section we were on is frequented by MTBikes and well as hikers with a climb from  sea level to approx. 250 mtrs. It does this several times along the way.

One beautiful Hike or Bike in campsite is at Davies creek about 3 kms in.
Davies Camp
A good remote campground that has a cooking shelter, running untreated water (boil water advised), and pit toilets in a nice meadow near the Sound.

Along the way there are many bays and coves where solitary sailboats had anchored and had a whole bay to themselves.
Anchorages Everywhere

Finally we arrived at Grove Arm Viewpoint with its single sided picnic tables, you sit facing the spectacular view of Queen Charlotte Sound.
Sandra Enjoying Lunch and View
The weather had brightened considerably and we determined we had made the right choice in picking this alternate hike for the day.
Start of Track

General Track condition

The Trail End

Innovative Bike Rack
Then Overnight we felt this quite a bit

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