Queen Charlotte Track
The 72km Queen Charlotte Track offers a rich history, incredible scenery and the freedom to walk or mountain bike without heavy gear with a network of water taxis available to transfer you to and from the track, and transfer your gear to your accommodation each night.
A full range of accommodation options are available, including luxury water's edge resorts, lodges, holiday houses, backpackers and campsites.
The track is relatively easy walking, taking 3 to 5 days depending on how far you want to walk each day, and is a fantastic mountain bike ride, over 2 to 3 days. The full track is open to mountain biking from 1 March to 30 November each year, with some sections closed outside of these dates. If time doesn't allow you to complete the full track, take a water taxi out and complete just a section from a few hours to a couple of days.
73.5 km one way
Duration: 3-5 days
Grade: Easier Tramping Track
Duration: 2-3 days
Grade: Intermediate (Grade 3) / Advanced (Grade 4)
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Conditions & closures
Always check track conditions before you go here.
Lodges and resorts
There’s nothing quite like arriving to a beautiful room with a beautiful view and a hot shower, after you’ve walked or biked all day.
Getting there & away
The best way to start your trip is to take a water taxi from Picton to Ship Cove, the starting point of the 72km Queen Charlotte Track. There are numerous scheduled and private water taxi options from Picton.
A Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Pass is required to cross private land along the track between Kenepuru Saddle and Anakiwa, so if you're completing this section or the entire track you will need purchase a pass before starting the track.
Quick facts walking
The Queen Charlotte Track is 72km long and can be hiked in 3-5 days by walkers with a reasonable fitness.
Walk Meretoto / Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet
The Queen Charlotte Track journey begins with a scenic boat ride from Picton to Ship Cove, so grab a coffee, step on board and enjoy a cruise through the magnificent Queen Charlotte Sound.
Walk Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay
The track runs through regenerating forest near the coastline to Camp Bay, where you’ll find a Department of Conservation campsite and, a little further on, accommodation and restaurant options.
Walk Camp Bay to Torea Saddle
Climb out of Camp Bay to Kenepuru Saddle and follow the ridge separating Queen Charlotte Sound from Kenepuru Sound. Make sure you stop and take in the magnificent views here.
Walk Torea Saddle to Mistletoe Bay
Follow the ridge line again, through regenerating native bush. Take a side walk leads to the Onahau Lookout just before the descent to Te Mahia Saddle begins.
Walk Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa
It’s a lovely final day to Anakiwa, beginning with old bridle paths along the edge of the hills.
Quick facts biking
The Queen Charlotte Track is 73.5km long and can be ridden on a mountain bike in 2-3 days by intermediate – advanced riders.
Bike Meretoto / Ship Cove to Camp Bay
Put your bike on a boat and enjoy the hour-long cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound, spotting dolphins, seals and seabirds along the way.
Bike Camp Bay to Torea Saddle
This is probably the toughest part of the Queen Charlotte Track journey, with some steep climbs and tight turns.
Bike Torea Saddle to Anakiwa
Follow the ridgeline then drop to Mistletoe Bay Eco Village where there are whare and campsites for anyone wanting to lengthen their stay. From there it’s a lovely beech dappled ride to Anakiwa.
Camping on the track
Your luggage can be delivered by boat each day, so you can pack a few glamping extras, and the view from your front door is bound to be stunning.
Heritage & Culture
The story of The Queen Charlotte Track is one of history, nature, conservation and cooperation. It’s a story that begins with the Māori warrior Kupe, who according to legend, chased a giant octopus and caught it in the Cook Strait, forming the waterways of the Marlborough Sounds in the ensuing battle.