Queen Charlotte Track

The Marlborough Sounds feature mind-blowing views of beautiful bays and inlets, sparkling turquoise waters, little private beaches and lush native forest. Combine this with awesome luxury accommodation and there’s no wonder that riding a mountain bike on the Queen Charlotte Track is becoming more popular every year.

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Activity in brief

3 days
Start - End:
Ship Cove - Anakiwa
Water Taxi

Terrain: A generally a wide and well maintained track. Can get muddy, especially in winter. Some steeper climbs and descents.

Accommodation: Private Lodges

Nearest Town: Picton

Activity Overview

You can ride most of the track year round, but the first section from Ship Cove into Endeavour Inlet is closed from December through to the end of February.

The Queen Charlotte Track winds through 71Km of The South Island’s Marlborough Sounds: an amazing geographic feature made up of hundreds of waterways that were once river valleys, but have since been ‘drowned’ by rising sea levels. Between these beautiful bays and inlets the hills and mountains climb steeply and feature a mixture of different environments from ancient rainforest and regenerating native bush to farmland and commercial forestry. Lots of native birds also call this area home. This is also an area steeped in history with remains old Maori settlements and of course Ship Cove – surely one of the most beautiful spots in the country – where Captain Cook made his base in the South Pacific.

One of the great attractions of this trail, and one of the reasons for its popularity, is how civilised it is. Each night you stay in a waterside lodge, with a hot shower, a proper bed and an excellent dinner. You even get your luggage transported along the track for you!


Personalised Itineraries

Personalise your Queen Charlotte Track Ride:

You can choose to ride the trail in as many days as you wish, while water taxis allow for great flexibility, allowing you to ride in a way that suits you - starting or finishing in a place of your choosing or even missing out a section if you like.

You can even do a combination of biking, hiking and kayaking different parts of the track and sound.

We can also arrange extra accomodation in Picton for before and after your ride and return airport shuttles if required.

Contact us and we can help you with some great advice and also organise all the details for you.

Include the Queen Charlotte Track in your unique Multi-Activity Trip:

You can combine this ride with any other activity on this website to create your own unique itinerary.

When you develop your own tailor-made itinerary with us, it's fully customised with your choice of activities, accommodation and transport around New Zealand - Click here for more information about Multi-Activity Trips or Enquire Now to get started.

OR SIMPLY BOOK this trip now...
Three Day Ride
  • Accommodation in luxury lodges on trail included.
  • Water taxi transportation to and from start/end of the track included. 
  • Pack lunches for days 2-3 included.
  • Luggage transfers included.
  • QCTLC private land access pass included.
  • Mountain Bike hire available.

Day One: Ship Cove to Punga Cove Resort (27km). Your first day starts in the morning with a water taxi ride out to historic Ship Cove. The trail starts off quite steeply and winds through a mixture of stunning old-growth podocarp and beech forest. Pass through Resolution Bay then on to Endeavour Inlet where the historic Furneaux Lodge is a great place to stop for lunch. The final undulating coastal section of the trail delivers you to Punga Cove Resort for your first night's stop.

Day Two: Punga Cove to Portage Resort (25km). Day two starts with a grunty climb up on to a ridge but your hard work will be rewarded with truly spectacular views of the Marlborough Sounds on both sides. At the end of the day you descend from Torea Saddle to the Portage Resort and your second night on the trail.

Day Three: Portage to Anakiwa (20km). The final day on the trail takes you to the end of the Sound at Anakiwa . This is a lovely ride through mature native bush, with some superb cruisey downhill sections. The water sparkling through the trees below you, is a fitting finale to this wonderful bike trip. You will be returned by boat from the Anakiwa Jetty to Picton, arriving back by late afternoon.

Pricing: Three Day Ride

From NZD$640 per adult and from NZD$310 per child (15 years or younger). Includes all accommodation, pack lunches, water taxi transportation to and from start/end of the track, luggage transfers and QCTLC private land access pass.

Three Days Standard Mountain Bike Hire: From NZD$150 per person.

Three Days E-Bike Hire: From NZD$300 per person.

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Activity Planning

When to go

The climate in this part of the South Island is generally one of the sunniest in the country, although bad weather and especially strong winds can pop up at any time of year.

You can ride most of the track year round, but the first section from Ship Cove into Endeavour Inlet is closed from December through to the end of February.

If you want to ride at this time of year we can arrange for you to bike just the last 2 sections if you like. If you are keen to have the full three days on the track then you can walk the first section (you can walk to Furneaux Lodge if you wish and get a water taxi across to Punga Cove) and get your bikes delivered to Punga Cove to ride the open 2 sections of track. 

What to bring

Bike - Good quality mountain bike or e-bike with suspension and knobbly tires, helmet, pump, tools and spares.

Light waterproof hiking shoes or biking shoes


Light waterproof jacket

Lots of warm clothes

Bidon (Water bottle)


Insect repellant

First-aid kit


Communication device

Accommodation on the trail


Punga Cove Resort

Punga Cove has the most incredible setting amongst native forest and overlooking a lovely bay. Its the perfect get-away-from-it-all location. Ensuite accommodation is found dotted among the bush and has been recently renovated. The restaurant is one of the best in the sounds and there's also a more informal wharf-side bar - great for toasting the end of your day!

Portage Resort

The Portage Hotel is beautifully located over-looking the Kenepuru Sound. There's a great bar and restaurant to relax at the end of the day, a pool and well appointed, ensuite accommodation in chalets.


Accommodation in Marlborough

We can organise your accommodation in the wider Marlborough region for before and after your ride if you wish. Please let us know what sort of accommodation you are looking for when you make your booking for this activity, and we can discuss the options with you.


We can arrange return on demand transportation for you between Blenheim Airport and Picton - please contact us for more information.

Three Day Ride - Water Taxi

After a morning briefing in Picton you board a fast and safe launch for a gorgeous hour long cruise along Queen Charlotte Sound up to the start of the trail at Ship Cove. On Day 3 you are returned to Picton again by boat from the main finish point at Anakiwa. Bike transport on the boats is included.

Also if you're out on the track, and decide you've had enough, then you can be picked up by water taxi at various points, so there is always an escape route! We can sort this out for you at any time you wish.

Personalised Itineraries - Water Taxi

For a truly personalised ride you can get boat transfers to skip various sections of the track if you wish, or finish the trail early. We can advise you on your best options when you make your booking. 

Route Map
Get in touch

For more information about us or our services contact us on
+ 64 3 390 1584
or email us at [email protected]

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