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Nearly all walkers and mountain bikers begin the Queen Charlotte Track by arriving via Picton. a small town located in the heart of the Queen Charlotte Sound, at the top of the South Island. Picton can easily be reached from both North and South Islands. Nestled deep in Queen Charlotte Sound, Picton is reminiscent of small town New Zealand, unhurried and free of crowds. While having modern amenities and facilities, Picton has retained the charm of a fishing port. The waterfront is a perfect place to wander and relax.

Picton has a good range of cafes, restaurants and bars – something for all tastes. For those wanting to make an early start to the track breakfasts are available from as early as 7.00am. Car storage is readily available, as are shuttles to and from the airport.

While having many excellent hotels and motels, Picton also has particularly good backpacker accommodation and homestays. Although accommodation is plentiful, booking is essential especially in the peak seasons.

Type Getting to Picton Distance km (miles) Time
Car Picton to Nelson 11km (68 miles) 2hrs 30mins
2 Picton to Christchurch 336km (209 miles) 5 hrs
3 Picton to Blenheim 28km (17 miles) 30 mins
These times are based on driving at 80 to 100 km per hour on open stretches of road, with a small allowance for traffic delays, petrol stops and refreshments.
Ferry Bluebridge and The Interislander transport passengers and vehicles across Cook Strait between Picton and Wellington for those travelling with vehicles from the the North Islands.The ferries link with Tranz Scenic Train services in Wellington and Picton, making it easier to book travel. 3.5 hrs
Train Train services operate between the port of Picton and Christchurch. 5hrs 20mins
Coach There are several bus operators that offer a range of scheduled services to the Marlborough region  
Air SoundsAir: Various flights including Picton / Wellington, Blenheim / Wellington and Blenheim / Christchurch.
Air New Zealand: daily flights Blenheim / Wellington, and Blenheim / Auckland.

Walk the Track

You can walk the track in 3-5 days, set your own pace.
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Bike The Track

The Charlotte Track is one of New Zealand's Great Rides with 72km of continuous single track.
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Activities & Packages

Walk, kayak, bike, cruise or enjoy a guided eco tour, take your pick.
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Enjoy all the Queen Charlotte Track has to offer

Walk or bike the real New Zealand, in the heart of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, where the mountains meet the sea.