7-11 March 2024
Paid in instalments
Journey into the pristine, fertile and luscious world of Marlborough Sounds Valley in New Zealand, as you trek one of the world's best preserved wonders. All the funds you raise as part of the trek will enable Vision Australia to support people who are blind or have low vision to live the life they choose.
Find Out More
Enter your details to receive the info pack, including the full itinerary, FAQs and more about how Vision Australia helps support people who are blind or have low vision to live the life they choose.
The Difference You'll Make
Vision Australia estimates there are 453,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision. It is predicted that by 2030 this number will reach 564,000 in Australia, increasing the demand for their services by up to 30%, particularly amongst older Australians, with around 70% of their clients being over the age of 65.
Their clients are at the centre of everything they do at Vision Australia - like music teacher Beth Tonissen, 51, from Victoria, who was diagnosed at age 7 with Cone-rod Dystrophy. The donations from this trek will enable Vision Australia to provide important services which Beth utilises as a Vision Australia client.
Vision Australia is a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services.
They support more than 35,000 clients. They do this through their online services and at Vision Australia centres. They also offer outreach programs in the Northern Territory and Tasmania. The donations raised from this trek will enable Vision Australia to provide important services for the Quality Living Groups and Vision Australia Radio to continue broadcasting. Your support will help enable people who are blind or have low vision live the life they choose.
"You don't feel alone, you don't feel isolated anymore. Yes, there are still challenges in life but you realise you are not the only person doing that every day, there are others out there experiencing something similar." Vision Australia client Beth explains.
How it works
Book with Confidence
Make a difference
Commit to raising the minimum fundraising target and make a positive difference to worthwhile causes.
You'll be supported by our team of fundraising experts to reach and exceed your fundraising goals.
Be part of a team
Join like-minded travellers, and representatives from the charity, all united in their adventurous spirit and commitment to making a positive impact in the world. Make lifelong friends during a shared challenge experience.
Day 1, Thursday, 7th March: Depart Picton, Queen Charlotte Sound & Endeavour Inlet
Welcome to Picton! Hugging the side of the Queen Charlotte Sound, this seaside town is the starting off point for your explorations of its famous track. Your adventure gets rolling with a 9am welcome meeting where you’ll meet your local guide and fellow travellers, then it’s a 10am ferry to Meretoto, also known as Ship Cove. Be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins which can often be spotted swimming alongside the boat! Upon arrival, we take some time to explore the cove while your guide shares its history. We then begin the day’s hike, climbing away from the coastline through untouched forests of ferns and beech. We pause at a lookout point to admire views of the Queen Charlotte Sound, then descend into Resolution Bay and stop for a picnic lunch. After lunch, we follow the shoreline over an old bridle path to the stunning Endeavour Inlet where we’ll have some downtime to kayak, stand up paddleboard or simply stretch out next to the water and relax. Later in the day, we continue to our lodge accommodation and settle in for the night.
Trekking Distance: 17km
Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel, twin share
Day 2, Friday, 8th March: Queen Charlotte Track to Punga Cove
Wake up to the songs of birds and prepare for another scenic day along the trail. Today, we skirt along the coastline through gorgeous native bush while your guide points out the calls of fantails and bellbirds. We pass by Big Bay, walk through shady forest to Camp Bay, then arrive at the beautiful Punga Cove in the Marlborough Sounds. On arrival, we take some time to explore this small but picturesque seaside settlement and perhaps pop into one of the few local eateries for lunch with a view. We will then be transferred via water taxi to our accommodation in Portage Bay.
Trekking Distance: 12km
Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel, twin share
Day 3, Saturday, 9th March: Queen Charlotte Track via Eatwells Lookout and Portage Bay
Today we will be up bright and early ready for our longest day of trekking, but we’ll be sure to be rewarded with some jaw-dropping scenery. After another water taxi transfer, we depart from Punga Cove and follow the ridgeline towards the Kenepuru Saddle. After climbing to the Eatwells Lookout, we take in sweeping views of the Marlborough Sounds, with the Cook Strait and the Kaikoura Ranges in the distance. After descending via the Torea Saddle, we continue on the final stretch to Portage Bay, where we’ll be staying for the night once again. This evening, we enjoy a well-earned three-course dinner whilst reminiscing about all that we have seen and accomplished together.
Trekking Distance: 21km
Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel, twin share
Meals: B L D
Day 4, Sunday, 10th March: Portage & on to Wellington
This morning, we enjoy some free time to enjoy all that Portage has to offer. You may like to rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard to explore the bay, or perhaps head out snorkelling to discover what lies beneath the water. It is then time to leave Portage Bay behind, as we take a short walk to Torea Bay before boarding a ferry to Wellington. In Wellington, you'll celebrate the completion of the challenge with a final team dinner, where your guides will bid you farewell and leave you in Ron's capable hands for your final day.
Meals: B D
Day 5, Monday 11th March: Explore Wellington with CEO Ron Hooton
Join Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton for a special Vision Australia experience as he guides you for a tour around the city of Wellington. Born in New Zealand, Ron will share his favourite places as you walk 10km exploring the city and find a nice spot for lunch before you say farewell to the group.
Trekking Distance: 10km
Includes: Transfers as per itinerary • Accommodation in 3-Star accommodation based on twin share • Meals as per itinerary • Local guide • Entrance fees as per itinerary
Doesn’t Include: Airfares • Airport transfers • Travel insurance (Highly recommended for NZ residents, mandatory for non-NZ residents) • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages • Personal expenses
Vision Australia is so excited for you to meet like-minded, adventurous people intent on making a difference to the lives of others and enjoy what we think is one of the most beautiful places on Earth!
Why you'll love this adventure
- Climb Eatwells Lookout and enjoy sweeping views of Marlborough Sounds
- Spot wildlife like dolphins, stingrays, seals, and even orcas and whales on their seasonal migration
- Cool off and paddleboard, kayak or snorkel at pristine South Island beaches
- Make new friends and create life long memories
- Completely accessible trek where you are invited to register with a support person or bring a Seeing Eye Dog if you are blind or have low vision.
- Take the adventure on with a small group of travellers, including Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton who is not only passionate about New Zealand's beautiful country but also about supporting people who are blind or have low vision.
- Trek knowing that you’re providing life-changing support programs, Vision Australia's Quality Living Groups and Vision Australia Radio to people who are blind or have low vision
Frequently asked questions
Can't find the answer to your question? Get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone (1300 905 188). We’re always here to help!
About the adventure
How challenging is this adventure?
This adventure is ranked a moderate 3/5. While no extensive trekking experience is required prior to registering, our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. The Queen Charlotte Track is a physical challenge, involving trekking approximately 60 kilometres over 5 days. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. You will be well supported on the adventure, with the guides and your team all cheering you on. You are free to move at your own pace and we will take frequent breaks. All participants are required to complete a medical form, signed by a GP, before taking part in this adventure.
How many people will be on my adventure?
We believe small group travel is better for the planet, and better for you. Our adventures average between 10 - 20 participants, connected by their commitment to the greater good.
Can I join an Inspired Adventure on my own?
Of course, most people do! Throughout your adventure journey, we will connect you with your fellow adventurers so you can get to know each other before you hit the road.
What is the general age range of participants?
The minimum age for this adventure is 18, however younger ages are considered on application. We have had participants aged 16–84+ take part in our challenges, all united by their sense of philanthropy and adventure.
Fitness and training
How do I train for this adventure?
We will provide you with information on how to prepare for your adventure when you register. In addition, we recommend that
you consult your GP and a personal trainer to develop a training plan that will prepare you for the challenge. As part of your training, we recommend making use of your free time to complete several day hikes. You should aim to be able to walk in hilly terrain for 5+ hours comfortably and get up and do it again the next day. It is sensible to start training as early as possible before you go on your trek.
What is the accommodation like?
Accommodation on this adventure is in a 3-star, locally-owned lodge, and surrounded by nature.
Will I be sharing accommodation?
Accommodation on this adventure is based on twin-share and multi-share. You will be staying in basic cabins and mountaineering lodges. You will be paired with a teammate of the same gender and, whenever possible, age group.
I’m travelling with a friend, can we stay together?
Absolutely! If you’re travelling with a friend, please make note of this and we will pair you together.
What to expect
I have dietary requirements, will I be catered for?
Of course, we will happily arrange for any dietary requirements you’ve noted during booking to be catered for. Please advise your local guide on Day 1 as well. You will be fed very well while you’re on the adventure, but if you have a very specific dietary requirement or severe allergies, often it’s best to pack some extra things as back-up.
What happens if there is a medical emergency?
Providing the safest possible environment
is our highest priority and we have an outstanding safety record. All Inspired Adventures guides are first aid trained and well-equipped to handle any medical emergencies. There will also be a Team Doctor in attendance.
Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
How much does it cost to participate in this adventure?
The total cost to participate in this adventure is $3,750
(inclusive of a $950 non-refundable deposit).
In addition, you are also committing to raising $3,500 (per person) for Vision Australia. Flights are also at your own expense.
In order to secure your place, you will need to pay half of your travel deposit ($475) upfront, and the second half four weeks after registration. This is non-refundable.
A second instalment of your balance is due 6 months prior to departure, and the final balance is due 3 months before travel. If you are registering with less than 7 months to departure, you will most likely be invoiced in fewer instalments based on the date of registration.
Your travel payments are invoiced in instalments to provide ample time to pay your balance. We can build a personalised payment plan that suits your schedule if your standard timeline does not suit.
What happens if I need to cancel?
If you find yourself unable to attend, please notify us as soon as possible.
Cancellation within 5 days of registration will receive a full refund.
Cancellations more than 90 days prior to departure will receive a full refund minus the $950 deposit.
Cancellations within 90 days of departure will receive no refund. Where applicable, we can provide assistance in making a travel insurance claim.
Do I need to have insurance?
Travel insurance is highly recommended for domestic adventures to cover cancellation, hospital, emergency evacuation and lost luggage. We recommend purchasing your policy as soon as possible. It is up to you to ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and you will need to share these details with our team before departure. For more information, please visit www.inspiredadventures.com.au/travel- insurance-information.
Take this new and exciting corporate social responsibility initiative and see your staff and brand take on this adventure as a team.
An Inspired Adventure with Vision Australia offers the following benefits:
- Employee engagement opportunities to attract and retain staff
- Long-term partnership with Vision Australia and increased community engagement
- Improved employee wellness through the impact of paying it forward
- Increased brand value through unique PR opportunities
- Improved workplace mental and physical health with a focus on fitness and training for the challenge
- Increased visibility through innovative approach to corporate social responsibility
- Team building opportunities across departments through the achievement of a common goal
- Great networking opportunities
Find out more by downloading our corporate sponsorship pack or contacting Myra Woodley, Community Fundraising Coordinator Vision Australia, on 0414 891 399 or Myra.Woodley@visionaustralia.org
All information is subject to change and will be confirmed upon your registration.