Wildlife & Vegetation
The Marlborough Sounds, in its remoteness and solitude, offers visitors a chance to experience some of New Zealand’s finest native bush and birdlife, alongside the stunning natural beauty of the coastline.
Take time to stop and wonder at the awe inspiring grandeur of stands of ancient untouched forest; the deep silence broken only by the fluting calls of the tui and bellbird. In this sub tropical rainforest are magnificent examples of native beech, kamahi, and the majestic giants of the forest, the rimu – many of which were already mature trees when Captain Cook first arrived.
Sections of the Track traverse land previously farmed which is now returning to native bush – here the cover of nikau palms, manuka and kanuka offers protection to a multitude of ferns, delicate flowering’ orchids and emerging seedlings that will become the forest giants of the future.
Lookouts through this developing forest offer sudden views into the sparkling waters of the many secluded bays and coves, while open ridges present a spectacular panorama of the hills and sea-flooded valleys that make up the Marlborough Sounds.
The pure liquid notes of the bellbird and tui echo through the bush and softly chattering fantails will accompany you on your walk. Also commonly seen are native woodpigeons and waxeyes, while ground-dwelling wekas are often present at rest areas to share your lunch. Gannets plummet from a great height into the clear waters to join fluttering shearwaters, oyster catchers, herons and a variety of shags.
The abundance of fish species in the Sounds including blue cod, gurnard, snapper and tarakihi provide feeding grounds for New Zealand fur seals, dolphins and orcas.
With its abundance of native plant and animal life the Queen Charlotte Track experience is one that will live long in your memories; an experience that will find you immersed in the solitude and beauty of one of New Zealand’s natural wonders.
The pigs were released by Captain Cook at Ship Cove as a food source & have spread through out New Zealand. Visitors to the Queen Charlotte Track may come across wild pigs from time to time along the track rooting for food, especially the section between Camp Bay and Torea Saddle, over the winter months. These wild pigs are very shy and will run away from walkers, if walkers are lucky enough to spot one.