Today's walk was from Ships Cove, at the start of the Queen Charlotte Track, to the DoC campsite at Camp Bay. DoC says it is 27km, the Suunto says we did 26! It took us about 7.5hrs in total - about 6hr45 walking, so not bad for a first day! The GPS track for the day is here.
We had caught the ferry across yesterday and stayed at the Atlantis backpackers. We were up at 0630 for breakfast so we could be at Beachcomber Cruises at 0730 to get our tickets for the transfer to Ships Cove. Had time to duck off and get a hot drink, including a coffee for our skipper, Phil :-). Had a great trip out with informative commentary on the area - had a great interaction with a school of bottlenose dolphins at one stage! Phil dropped us off just before 0930 and we were underway soon after. As we were waiting to start we chatted with an Israeli couple doing the QCT. Turns out they had forgotten to pack a lighter for their gas cooker - so our first good deed of this section was to donate them a spare pack of waterproof matches!
The track launches straight into a steady climb up to about 220m, which is pretty much the high point for the day. Much of the day is through regenerating scrub and older bush on a pretty well formed path. We were up and down a bit for the first half of the day, but from the head of Endeavour Inlet it was pretty gentle all the way to Camp Bay.
At times we got some good views of this part of the Sounds and the birdlife was reasonable - quite a few bellbirds especially; even seeing 3 in one little tree right above us at one stage. We also saw a few weka, including hanging around our tent at the campsite, so we're wary of leaving anything out that they could take off with!
We stopped for a brief look at Furneaux Lodge before continuing on, resting for a lunch break near the head of Endeavour Inlet before carrying on round to Camp Bay's DoC campsite. The track was reasonably busy with mainly day walkers but we did run into a couple of nobo TAers, one kiwi guy finishing today and an Austrian guy at the camp who will be finished tomorrow. Also walked for a while with a lovely Romanian lass, Andrea, who had taken a year off work and was spending some of that time seeing NZ, including a number of bush walks.
We were reasonably pleased with day one - the aches and pains seemingly not too bad. However, B pointed out that we have a very long day tomorrow of over 30km of up and down. Maybe not the most sensible, but it is a bit of a challenge to manage the stops on this walk with the distances between camp spots. We will just have to see how we go! We set up tent and went for a short walk down to the bay itself and also a little way towards nearby Punga Cove before dining and heading to bed.
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!