Take in gorgeous coastal views of the stunning Marlborough Sounds, with native bush, idyllic coastal coves and a seamless network of cruise and pack transfers, resorts, lodges and great food and wine - cycling or walking this track is utterly unique.
The track is a true cross-country mountain bike or tramping experience with steep climbs, narrow trail and natural surface. Most visitors use the accommodation providers along the trail to break up their multi-day journey.
The Queen Charlotte Track is an 'A to B' trip between Ship Cove and Anakiwa. The trail is divided into three sections, some of which can be undertaken as separate day trips by utilising a water taxi, or combined for a multi-day journey.
Renowned for its stunning scenery and challenging terrain the Queen Charlotte Track is a mountain biking experience like no other, and the best part, your pack can be transferred for you by one of the water transport operators to your destination, so all you have to do is ride. While the Queen Charlotte Track is regarded as a classic New Zealand walk, the 72km track is now also regarded as one of New Zealand’s best single track mountain bike rides.
NB. A 'Trail Pass' to go through private land needs to be purchased from local information centres, trail operators, or directly online from the land co-operative. Also, in summer, the section of trail from Ship Cove to Kenepuru Saddle is closed to bikers. For more information check out the official trail website.
To get to Ship Cove or Camp Bay, where many visitors may start their journey, requires a boat trip from Picton. There are several boat operators that can transport riders and bikes, and provide gear drops to different accommodation operators along the trail. More information is provided under the outfitter section on this app.
This trail is both a Great Ride and part of the country-long Te Araroa Trail. The trail sections are suitable for intermediate to expert riders and fit walkers, although some sections that are off the ridge tops and near Anakiwa are suitable for intermediate riders.
The trail surface can be ridden all year, in any direction, and is only wide enough for one rider. The trail is off-road, and if wet the clay surfaces can be very slippery. There are some really steep climbs where most riders will need to get off and push up, and fit walkers will get a sweat up. Unless you are incredibly fit, it is probably best to stay with an accommodation provider along the way, as hauling a tent, cooking and sleeping gear to the hilltops is pretty draining.
Toilets and water taps are scattered along the trail at some bays and campsites. There is no drinking water along the ridge top parts of the trail apart from the campsites (which could be empty during long dry periods) - so be prepared. The majority of the accommodation is provided at Picton and Anakiwa, with a range of B&B's and lodges just off the trail.
From Anakiwa some riders take a boat back to Picton, others ride the Queen Charlotte Drive while the Link Pathway is another option which is a bonus trail on the app.
Please refer to the official trail website and Facebook links for the most recent safety updates, conditions and trail details.