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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 73.5 km 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 73.5 km 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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