The Official Website of the Queen Charlotte Track

On the Track

Track Overview

70 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.

Download your Track Map here.



Sections of the track cross private land. Track users are required to have a Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Pass for all QCTLC private land between Kenepuru Saddle, Torea Saddle, Te Mahia Saddle and Anakiwa. The pass fee contributes to track maintenance, enhancement and access.

On the track. Photo: Gideon Climo

The Queen Charlotte Track, located at the top of the South Island in the Marlborough Sounds, is unique for its stunning coastal views, historical landmarks and wonderful variety of native bush and wildlife. Stretching from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, this 70km track will wrap you in the mystical beauty that is the Marlborough Sounds, and totally absorb you for four or five magical days.

The Marlborough Sounds’ temperate climate enables the track to be walked all year round with the most popular season being from November to May. Most of the track is wide and benched, and all major streams have been bridged.

For walkers and bikers alike a moderate level of fitness and experience is required. If walking the 70km trip, it can be completed in 3 – 5 days while biking the track takes approximately 13 hours although completing this over 2 – 3 days is ideal.

You can start or finish the walk at any of the points along the way. Better still, there are guided and freedom walking options available. Both freedom and guided walkers can have their packs carried for them from any of the access points along the track by arrangement with transport operators.

For those with a little more time, or seeking something a little different, there are many other activities that can be enjoyed along the way. These include swimming, fishing, sailing, sea kayaking, mountain biking, bird watching, diving and historic side trips. Glow worm grottos add to the walkway’s nightlife. Find out more about Queen Charlotte Track side trips.

The romance of arriving or departing the walkway by sea or air adds to the experience and with its historic interest and many comfortable accommodation houses along the way serving good food and wine, it’s a respite in paradise.

Whether walking or biking the Queen Charlotte Track is one of nature’s wonderlands with stunning Marlborough Sounds views. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural charms by exploring the Queen Charlotte Track. Enjoy.

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.