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 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.
72km one way
Duration: 3-5 days
Grade: Easier Tramping Track
Duration: 2-3 days
Grade: Intermediate (Grade 3) / Advanced (Grade 4)
Already done the track?
DOC would love your feedback, complete the short survey here.
Things to know
Find out all the essential information for walking or biking the 72km Queen Charlotte Track in Marlborough. Track passes, getting there and the history.
The 72km Queen Charlotte Track is one of New Zealand's Great Rides and one of the longest pieces of continuous single track in the country. You can have your luggage carried by boat, whether you choose to stay in a lodge or camp at a conservation campsite.
The Queen Charlotte Track is all about freedom. You can lug a pack, camp at beautiful conservation campsites, and be finished in 3 days. Or carry just your lunch and jacket, stay in lodges along the way and stretch the journey out to 5 days.
The track is accessible by land and water at many places, so if you don’t have time to hike the whole thing you can choose one section and do it in a day.
Places to stay
New Zealand is spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful walks, but when you find a beautiful walk with beautiful accommodation as well, you are in for a real treat. Whether you’re camping or planning a night of luxury you’re going to love your nights on the track.
- Bike Ship Cove to Camp Bay
- Bike Camp Bay to Torea Saddle
- Bike Torea Saddle to Anakiwa
- Walk Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet
- Walk Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay
- Walk Camp Bay to Torea Saddle
- Walk Torea Saddle to Mistletoe Bay
- Walk Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa
- Ship Cove Waterfall Track
- Antimony Mines short walk
- Mistletoe Bay short walks
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
Your destination is Ship Cove, one of Captain Cook’s favourite anchorages, and a meeting place of two cultures. It’s worth spending some time to explore the beautiful bay and read some of its unique history.
That’s also an excuse to delay the inevitable steep climb up out of the cove. Once you’re at the top it’s a rattling and exhilarating ride down, over rock, mud, brook and tree root. Alternatively, you can skip the steep hill by starting at Resolution Bay.
There's a range of accommodation from lodges to campsites, and even a selection of bars and restaurants. Treat yourself to a crisp glass of Marlborough wine or craft beer as reward for your first day’s ride.
Take a plunge in the sea, a soak in the hot tub, and prepare for your next day’s ride.
Approx 5 hr, 26.5 km
Intermediate – Advanced (Grade 3-4)
This section of the track is open to mountain biking from 1 March to 30 November each year.
Pick up / Drop off points
Ship Cove, Resolution Bay, Endeavour Inlet, Punga Cove
Ship Cove, Schoolhouse Bay campsite, Tawa Saddle, Endeavour Inlet, Camp Bay campsite
Ship Cove, Schoolhouse Bay campsite, Camp Bay campsite
Schoolhouse Bay campsite (DOC), Miners Camp, Madsen’s Camp, Camp Bay campsite (DOC)
Search & book
Punga Cove Resort
Bed and Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast
Miners Camp & Farmstay
Miners Camp Farmstay
No Road Inn
The Blue Water Lodge