With 52 hectares of native bush surrounding the Bay of Many Coves Resort, there is a good choice of hiking trails, a vista around every corner with some steep trails but extremely rewarding outlooks. It was a hot day but the fantails flitted about as we puffed our way up, the dog running back every few steps to see if we were still coming. The native ferns and grasses lined the track as green sentinels. Manuka trees offered shade in most parts and yet gave way to views of the inner and outer Queen Charlotte Sound as we weaved our way up. The cicadas were almost deafening, but it was a joyous din, the hum of summer.
We were checking out the new ‘old’ trail just re-opened for budding bikers accessing from the nearby Queen Charlotte Track or for hikers who want to take on a ‘loop’ from the Resort to the lookout and back. For hikers like us, a saunter up to the Lookout at 1950meters from the resort ‘s location in Arthurs bay, is a revitalizing activity. At around 350meters above sea-level it offers a mesmerising view back to Waikawa Marina and the seaside township of Picton. The blues of the Sound below are vibrant today and the Interislander ferries are maneuvering in the narrow gap of the Tory Channel recently arriving in from the Cook Strait.
The cacophony of cicadas was momentarily interrupted by a helicopter arriving with guests for the resort, a disturbance so brief that that you couldn’t deny these lucky flyers the beauty of witnessing the labyrinth of bays, coves and inlets of the Sounds from the air.
With the Bay of Many Coves being four and a half kilometers from the Queen Charlotte Walkway itself, this is a retreat, an off the beaten track haven to arrive to. We imagine if we were more intrepid folk, we would relish the idea of mountain biking the mostly revamped track, with a reasonable incline it would still ensure a challenging and invigorating ride.
For now we make our way down, stopping to admire the panorama of the entrance to the Sounds, Motuara Island is visible. The walk is extremely worthwhile and we are rewarded with a cold beer back at base.