Track Essentials

TRACK ESSENTIALS Come prepared and things to know before you go.
To make sure you enjoy your Queen Charlotte Track experience as much as possible it is essential you plan, prepare and equip yourself well. Ensure you have the correct equipment and skills required for the trip and always check the latest information about regional weather conditions and facilities you plan to use.

Track Essentials

Be Environmentally Friendly

Keep to the track – camping and toilet use in designated areas only. Please light no fires, no hunting, firearms or dogs, no motorised access. Please no littering. Think safety and courtesy. Pass holders accept full responsibility to use the track at their own risk.


While bookings are not required to enjoy the Queen Charlotte Track a QCTLC Pass is required for all Queen Charlotte Track private land between Kenepuru Saddle, Torea Saddle, Te Mahia Saddle and Anakiwa. The pass fee contributes to track maintenance, enhancement and access. Click HERE for more information.

Walking / Bike times

These are recommended times ONLY and do not include stops along the track.

Track Updates

Keep an eye on the DOC website for any track updates. Alternatively contact the Nelson / Marlborough DOC offices for track updates – updated weekly in summer and monthly in winter.

Travel Light

Supplies, meals & drinks can be purchased along the way. Click HERE for suggested items to bring with you on the track.


Pack Transfers

As you walk along the track your luggage will be transferred to your daily destination. Click HERE for more details.


No fires are permitted in campsites or along the track. The use of gas cookers is recommended. During periods of extreme drought and high fire risk, the track may be closed.


Always carry drinking water, particularly between Kenepuru and Te Mahia saddles.
Boil any water before drinking or for cooking purposes.
Do not use soap in streams.
Please use water in the campsites sparingly. Water taps are provided at the DOC campsites and washing sinks are provided in the cooking shelters.
During dry seasons a water supply may be empty.


Please use those provided – there are plenty. Toilet facilities are provided and maintained by DOC with help from private landowners and commercial operators.
To ensure the toilet systems run efficiently and don’t smell, close the toilet lid after use, and close the toilet door. Do not put rubbish or food scraps in the toilets. For personal hygiene, walkers should carry hand-sanitising lotion.

Please use the toilets where they have been provided and avoid polluting bush margins and waterways. If you do need to go to the toilet away from a toilet facility, go at least 50 m (100 steps) off the track and bury your toilet waste in the shallow organic layers of the topsoil, well away from any flowing water.


There are no rubbish facilities along the track: please take your rubbish away with you.

DOC Campsites

No open fires are permitted. The use of gas cookers if preferred. There are no cooking facilities at the campsites – please remember to bring your cooking equipment with you.


Wasps & Insects

Wasps are common in late summer and autumn, particularly on beech trees. Carry antihistamines if you are allergic to their stings. Carrying insect repellent is advisable.

wild pig


While walking or riding, you may notice the ground disturbed in places alongside the track. This may be caused by wild pigs rooting for worms, grubs and plant roots. Pigs are rarely seen by walkers and if you are lucky enough to meet one, the pig will usually take fright and quickly disappear into the bush.


Many jetties in the Sounds, such as the one at Outward Bound New Zealand, Anakiwa, are privately owned. Boat owners can use them for picking up and dropping off passengers and luggage only. Please do not tie up or leave your boat unattended at any jetty in the Sounds.

Private Land

While the majority of the Queen Charlotte Track is located on scenic reserves administered by DOC, large sections of the track cross private land, particularly along the Kenepuru ridges, around Onahau and Resolution Bay.
To maintain the goodwill of the landowners, visitors should respect all private property and not take vehicles, firearms or dogs on the track. Fires are a serious threat to private land and all forests. Open fires are not permitted anywhere on the track due to the high fire risk. Smoking is not permitted along the track.

Please remember: The Sounds Foreshore Reserve Public access to most bays and beaches in the Marlborough Sounds is guaranteed by the unique Sounds Foreshore Reserve. This is an approximately 20-metre wide strip of publicly owned land above the mean high water mark. If you use this reserve, please respect the rights of any nearby residents. Some landowners have riparian (private) rights to the foreshore.

Outward Bound NZ

Outward Bound New Zealand

The Outward Bound school at Anakiwa has a long history with the Queen Charlotte Track. Students can be seen helping to maintain the track as well as using it as part of their course activities. The school also manages and maintains the toilet block at the Anakiwa end of the track. The school welcomes visitors enquiring about it and the  courses it provides  –

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.