Eatwell's Lookout, Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough New Zealand
  • Length

    70km / 43miles

  • Type

    Walk or Mountain Bike

  • Stay

    Lodges, B&B's, campsites

  • Cost

    Track Pass Required

Guide

Queen Charlotte Track

The iconic Queen Charlotte Track, stretching from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, is a journey from past to present, via panoramic ocean views, thriving native bush and encounters with the likes of weka, fantail, wood pigeon and even seals.

The 70km 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.

Track Overview

70km one way

Walking
Duration: 3-5 days
Grade: Easier Tramping Track

Mountain Biking
Duration: 2-3 days
Grade: Intermediate (Grade 3) / Advanced (Grade 4)

  1. Bike Ship Cove to Camp Bay
  2. Bike Camp Bay to Torea Saddle
  3. Bike Torea Saddle to Anakiwa
  4. Walk Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet
  5. Walk Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay
  6. Walk Camp Bay to Torea Saddle
  7. Walk Torea Saddle to Mistletoe Bay
  8. Walk Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa
  9. Ship Cove Waterfall Track
  10. Antimony Mines short walk
  11. Mistletoe Bay short walks
Mondo Kopua

Mondo Kopua Biking enthusiast

“The thing I love about Marlborough, which you see when you cycle it, is the diversity of the landscape. We’ve got high country like up the Awatere Valley, then the Richmond Range, the Marlborough Sounds and all the rivers. Personally I’m an open country, high country farm sort of person. I love getting up in the hills.”

My insider guide to Marlborough

Walk Camp Bay to Torea Saddle

This is the longest stretch, so you’ll be thankful for one or two days' warm up.

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.

One of the best views in the Marlborough Sounds is Eatwell's Lookout. It's a short steep climb, but the views are rewarding beyond belief. Make sure you've got a camera on-hand to capture the views beside the legendary signpost at the lookout, and hashtag #BrilliantEveryDay , #MarlboroughNZ or #OnlyMarlborough on your social media shares from the lookout - you'll be dying to share the view with everyone back home.

Above Bay of Many Coves and Kumutoto Bay are two Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites with water, toilets and a cooking shelter.

If you’re looking for a slice of luxury, turn off for a night at Bay of Many Coves Resort - the extra walk will be surely be worth it.

Back on track, you’ll descend to Torea Saddle between Portage and Torea Bay. There is a DOC campsite at Cowshed Bay, as well as lodges and homestays around Portage.

As parts of this section cross over private land, you'll need to purchase a Track Pass from the Picton, Blenheim or Havelock i-SITE Visitor Information Centres beforehand.

Length

Distance: 23km
Approx Time: 8hr (3hr to Bay of Many Coves Campsite)

Water Taxi Points

Punga Cove, Torea Bay

Camping

Camp Bay campsite (DOC), Bay of Many Coves campsite (DOC), Black Rock campsite (DOC), Cowshed Bay campsite (DOC)

Toilets

Camp Bay campsite, Bay of Many Coves campsite, Black Rock campsite, Cowshed Bay campsite

Water

Camp Bay campsite, Bay of Many Coves campsite, Black Rock campsite, Cowshed Bay campsite

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