Queen Charlotte Track
“The Queen Charlotte Track is among the best multi-day mountain bike routes in the country. It has the added advantage of being able to amend your itinerary if you need to and do some of the route on sealed roads if the going is getting too tough. You can also start and finish your ride at various points along the track” — Jonathan Kennett
The 72km track is one of the longest pieces of continuous single track in the country, made even more appealing by the fact you can send you luggage ahead by boat and stay in modest or luxurious Queen Charlotte Track accommodation.
Start with a boat ride through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds from Picton to Ship Cove, one of Captain Cook’s favorite anchorages.
From there, you’ll find big climbs, exhilarating descents and breathtaking views. Cycle hard, then enjoy a plunge in the sea, followed by great food, wine and beer at your lodge. You’ve earned it.
72km (2-3 days)
Intermediate - Advanced (Grade 3-4)
Ship Cove to Camp Bay: Intermediate - Advanced (Grade 3-4)
Camp Bay to Torea Saddle: Intermediate - Advanced (Grade 3-4)
Torea Saddle to Waterfall Bay: Advanced (Grade 4)
Waterfall Bay to Anakiwa: Intermediate (Grade 3)
A Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Pass is required for sections of the track that cross over private land.
Passes can be purchased from the Picton, Blenheim and Havelock i-SITE Visitor Information Centres.
Pass fees are:
$10 for a one-day pass
$18 for up to five consecutive days
$25 for a one-year season
Anakiwa, Mistletoe Saddle, Torea Saddle and Kenepuru Saddle are all accessible by road. Anakiwa, Mistletoe Bay, Torea Bay, Camp Bay, Endeavour Inlet, Resolution Bay and Meretoto/Ship Cove can be accessed by sea. Many of the short walks can be enjoyed from these places.
A number of companies offer boat transport to and from points along the track, including Meretoto/Ship Cove. Regular and on-demand bus services link Anakiwa with Picton.
Many jetties in the Sounds, such as the Outward Bound New Zealand one at Anakiwa, are privately owned. Boat owners can use them for picking up and dropping off passengers and luggage only. Do not tie up or leave your boat unattended at any jetty in the Sounds.
Sections of the track cross private land. Private land owners require walkers to have a Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (Q.C.T.L.C.) (external site) Pass for all Q.C.T.L.C. private land between Kenepuru Saddle, Torea Saddle, Te Mahia Saddle and Anakiwa. S
Respect the owners’ property and do not take vehicles, firearms or dogs on the track. The sections of track on these properties only exist through the good will and cooperation of the land owners.
1. Keep left.
2. Cyclists should let pedestrians know when they are approaching by politely calling out or ringing a bell when approaching from behind.
3. Cyclists should pass on the right, when possible – unless the pedestrians are on the right in which case pass them in the safest way possible.
4. Cyclists should ride defensively and cycle at a speed that does not put others at risk.