Queen Charlotte Track: Superb shoreside walk in New Zealand



Nestled atop the South Island, the Queen Charlotte Track is the best way to enjoy a magnificent tour of the Marlborough Sounds including the Anakiwa in the Grove Arm and legendary Ship Cove featuring unrivaled vistas of Kenepuru as well as Queen Charlotte Sounds. Of all the three, the Queen Charlotte Sound is famous that is ruled by deep coves, bays, and bushy shorelines perfect for kayaking. The Queen Charlotte Track lies exactly in between the smallest Keneperu Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound, which is a 71 km long. This trail is now internationally acclaimed for its breathtaking vistas; skyline ridges; legendary landmarks; diverse landscapes of forest and bays; and stunning assortment of indigenous plants and wildlife. For any hiker or walker, the Queen Charlotte Track is the ideal paradise to experience the nature at its best! So, why don’t you have this natural, historical, and cultural experience?

A great level of fitness as well as sturdy shoes are required to walk on this track as its takes four days on an average, but can range from 1 to 5 days as per your desire and capability. However, you have a benefit of taking a water taxi if at all you do not want to walk. Besides walking, you can go for biking that is one of the most popular activities here. Many parts of the trail are broad enough, benched, and bridged over primary streams. Although you can start from any of the two directions, it is recommended to begin from Ship Cove.

Ship Cove to Resolution Bay of 4.5 km – maximum 2 hours

Come here via a boat and spend time in knowing the legendary site via its surrounding interpretation panels. No camping is allowed, but toilet facilities are there. The Queen Charlotte Track moves far from the beach and takes you via a forest where the soaring trees and diverse shrubs reside to give you shelter. Once 50 minutes are over, you come across a vantage point for enjoying vistas of the Queen Charlotte Sound after which the trail descends into Resolution Bay where you can see many accommodations including campsites.

Resolution Bay to Endeavour Inlet of 10.5 km – 3 hours max

This is a good grade and ancient bridle route passing above a ridge. Twisting downward, it goes along the coast until the inlet head where the signs refer to the antimony mining period. On the way, motels and hostels are available.

Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay of 11.5 km – maximum 4 hours

Continuing close to the coast, the track now meanders via a forest packed with small birds.

Camp Bay to Torea Saddle of 24.5 km – maximum 8 hours

This is the area of the private land and ensure that you carry your Q.C.L.T.C. Pass. The track now is hard to walk and is also the longest. You will see many bikers pushing their bike in this area. However, this tough section rewards one with the panoramic vistas of the Sounds from atop the ridge. Ascend Camp Bay to Kenepuru Saddle after which you need to walk the ridge that disconnects Keneperu and Queen Charlotte Sound. Over the Kumutoto Bay and Bay of Many Coves, there are campsites well equipped with water, cooking zone, and toilets. After this, you walk down to the saddle nestled in the mid of Portage and Torea Bay.

Torea Saddle to Mistletoe Bay of 7.5 km – Maximum 4 hours

This is the area of the private land and ensure that you carry your Q.C.L.T.C. Pass. Following a ridge line, this section holds profuse gorse and manuka, shrubs, and trees. Take up a side walk that brings you to a viewpoint after which a descent starts up to Te Mahia Saddle.

Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa of 12.5 km – maximum 4 hours

This is that part of the track that is along the ancient bridle paths over the water. After a round, the track goes down at Umungata’s campsite. You then spend your last hour on a trouble-free route via the mature beech forest from where you reach Anakiwa. This is where you will find toilets, car parking, phone, and a public jetty. If you have time, ride in a boat to explore Picton.

There are many more small walks on this Queen Charlotte Track that are explorable in less than a day’s time. From the Ship Cove, walk the Waterfall Track that is of half an hour leading you to a small waterfall. At Endeavour Inlet, choose to walk the Antimony Track taking one at a saddle and bring one back via extensively mined area in 2 hours. At Mistletoe Bay, try to explore the James Vogel Nature Track passing via the jungle for 45 minutes.

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