The Official Website of the Queen Charlotte Track

Track Overview

Track Overview

73.5 km one way

Duration: 3 - 5 days
Grade: Easier Tramping Track


While bookings are not required to enjoy the track it is advisable to book accommodation and transport options in advance.

Walking/biking times listed on this website are to be used as a guide only.

The track is generally well formed but may be steep, rough or muddy in some places.

The track is well signposted and marked.

Major stream and river crossings are bridged.

No dogs are permitted on the track.

Whether it’s 1 day or 5, on foot, bike or boat and under summer sun or blindingly blue winter skies, every day is a brilliant day on Queen Charlotte Track. Only on Marlborough’s Queen Charlotte Track can you combine beautiful coastal scenery, native bush, and comfortable walking with your choice of lodge accommodation, where every brilliant day ends with a soft bed, great food and wine, and your luggage waiting for you in your room.

The Queen Charlotte Track runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s Queen Charlotte Sound. The track stretches from Ship Cove to Anakiwa – 73.5 kilometre (approximately 45 miles) of spectacular walking track passing through historic sites, secluded bays and lush coastal bush.

While the Queen Charlotte Track is not a steep track it is a long track. This means that the distances walked each day (especially from Camp Bay to Anakiwa) can be challenging.

The terrain of the track is regarded as undulating with hills ranging from sea level to a maximum of 400 metres. Most of the track is wide (1 to 1.5 metres in width), and all major streams have been bridged. The surface, being mainly clay soil, is hard and firm in dry conditions but can often be slippery when wet.

For walkers, the track requires boots and a good level of fitness, and the 73.5 kilometre trip can be done in 3 – 5 days while the entire Queen Charlotte Track is open to mountain biking from March 1 to November 30 each year. The trip takes about 13 hours.

While most people think of walking as a summer activity, the Marlborough Sounds enjoys a wonderful, temperate climate all year round, making the Queen Charlotte Track an ideal spring, autumn or even winter experience. The most popular season being November to May.

Walking the Queen Charlotte Track 

  • The track is graded as an easier tramping track. Suitable for people with moderate fitness
  • Track is generally well formed but may be steep, rough or muddy
  • Limited backcountry (remote areas) experience required
  • Light tramping/hiking boots required

Biking the Queen Charlotte Track

Intermediate/Grade 3: Steep slopes and/or avoidable obstacles possibly on narrow track and/or with poor traction. There may be exposure at the track’s outside edge.

Advanced/Grade 4: A mixture of long, steep climbs, narrow track, poor traction and obstacles that are difficult to avoid or jump over. Generally exposed at the track’s outside edge. Most riders will find some sections easier to walk.