Walking or biking the Queen Charlotte Track is a spectacular way of experiencing the natural beauty of the Marlborough Sounds. The Track follows the coast of Queen Charlotte Sound from historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa. While walking the 71 km long track you pass through coastal forest, secluded coves and beaches, then alongside farmland and up onto skyline ridges giving you unsurpassed views of both Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. The Track is suitable for people of all ages and average fitness.

Ship Cove is probably where you will start your walk. One of the Picton water taxi companies will take you there (about 1 – 1.5 hours boat trip from Picton) If you want they will carry your bag for you between lodges along the track. If you take this option, please try to pack light (preferably one pack per person maximum 20kg) as all the luggage has to be lifted by hand on and off boats and along paths and often up ramps or steps to the lodges. It is also helpful if the name on your bag is the same as the name you have given to the lodges.

Spend some time at Ship Cove if you can. It is a beautiful place with a wonderful waterfall and a lot of information about the area. Long before European settlement in New Zealand Queen Charlotte Sound was an important trade route for Maori. There were many Maori living in the area because of the excellent sources of sea food and the reasonable climate.

In 1770 Captain James Cook, an early English explorer, used Ship Cove as an anchorage, and rest place for his men. Between 1770 and 1777 he spent more than 100 days here on a total of five visits and laid the foundation for peaceful negotiations between Maori and English (Pakeha).

There is more information about the Queen Charlotte Track on www.qctrack.co.nz 
Journalist Simon Day walked the Queen Charlotte Track with his is 79 year old grandmother. Read his article about their track experience HERE.

Please note – your boat will take you from Picton to Ship Cove to start the walk, and pick you up at Anakiwa at the end of the walk. The boats will also deliver you to and pick you up from (or nearby) any of the places listed below if you prefer a shorter walk.

Three Day Walk – for the very fit
Day One Ship Cove to Mahana 27 kms 6.5 – 8 hours
Day Two Mahana to Portage Bay 23 kms 6 – 7.5 hours
Day Three Portage Bay to Anakiwa 22kms 5.5 – 7 hours

Four Day Walk – for the average walker
Day One Ship Cove to Head of Endeavour Inlet (16km) 4 – 5 hours
Day Two Head of Endeavour Inlet to Mahana (11 km) 3.5 – 4 hours
Day Three Mahana to Portage Bay (24 km) 7 – 7.5 hours
Day Four Portage Bay to Anakiwa (22 km) 6.5 – 7 hours

If you are walking or biking the track don’t forget to have with you sun block, sun hat, insect repellent, wet weather gear (even in summer) good walking shoes, water, snacks for food along the way – although you can get your main meals at lodges on the track -and a good torch/flashlight (just in case). There are sections of the track where there is no cell phone coverage, so you won’t be able to rely on your mobile phone.

The Queen Charlotte Track is open for mountain biking all year round except for the section between Ship Cove and Kenepuru Saddle which closes for three months in summer – December, January and February. If you don’t have your bike with you, bikes are available for hire in Picton. We understand from guests who stay here that the section of the Track between Ship Cove and Mahana is technically difficult, but the track from Mahana to Anakiwa is benched and reasonably well surfaced. However, it is a mountain bike track, not a path, or a roadway. If you do not have much experience with New Zealand mountain biking, get advice from those that have ridden the Queen Charlotte Track. Mahana Lodge is delighted to be an Official Partner of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

MarlboroughNet Web Design & Internet Promotion
Mahana Lodge