Cove to Cove Beginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Mal Law
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Front country - easily accessible
Point to Point (one way)
Undulating, some big hills
Beginner - Intermediate
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This route is part of the Zeenya People's Choice Collection
From Ship Cove the trail goes straight into the biggest climb of the day to a saddle and lookout at 240m altitude. A long descent back to almost sea level is then followed by a second well-graded climb to over 200m again. From this second saddle there are great views out across Endeavour Inlet and the sharp-of-eye may be able to spot Punga Cove, the end of the run that is much further away than the straight line distance suggests.
From here the trail descends gently back to sea level, passing a number of beaches before skirting Furneaux Lodge. The rest of the way it undulates, first around the head of Endeavour Inlet and then around Big Bay. About 2kms from the end bear left following signs to Punga Cove which takes you through the DoC campsite en route to this idyllic lodge. Head for the wharf, grab a beer or a coffee and a snack from the cafe there, and enjoy the serenity of the Sounds while you wait for your return water taxi to pick you up.
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Features of interest
Captain Cook's Monument is at Ship Cove, marking the spot where Cook first landed in 1770 and again on four subsequent occasions during his first and second voyages to New Zealand.
This route take in the northernmost part of the Queen Charlotte Track and features abundant birdlife, in particular inquisitive weka that will be keen to check out your trail food supplies if you stop for a break.
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 80%
The start point is at Ship Cove, reached by water taxi from Picton (a one hour scenic journey)
Water taxi is the only option for accessing and leaving this run. Check times with cougarlines.co.nz but the schedule generally leaves you with plenty of time to complete the run at a leisurely pace.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Well signposted the whole way but double check with the map at each junction you pass just to be sure.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
There are several small clean side creeks that cross the track but these cannot be relied on after a spell of dry weather. Otherwise duck into Furneaux Lodge for a top up.
The climate is relatively mild and most of the route is under bush canopy so exposure isn't a major factor. That said it still pays to carry the basics in case of injury or unforeseen delays.
Parts of the trail can get very muddy after heavy rain.
Post run indulgence
Idyllic setting, good selection of post-run beers, snacks and light meals. Few better places to enjoy these than on their deck (which is part of the wharf) on a sunny day
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