Queen Charlotte Sounds with the Cougar Line

Queen Charlotte Track Land Access Fee

The Queen Charlotte Track is a unique partnership between the Department of Conversation, Marlborough District council and private land owners. As of 1 July 2010, a Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (Q.C.T.L.C) ticket is required for all Q.C.T.L.C private land only between Kenepuru Saddle and Anakiwa. The fee contributes to track maintenance, enhancement and access.

Ticket Fees:

  • $12 for up to 4 consecutive days
  • $25 for an annual pass
  • School Children are free
Find out more about the Queen Charlotte Track Land Access Fee »

About the Queen Charlotte Track

Go Travel New Zealand (1 Sept 2014) article: "The Queen Charlotte Track, Your Way - Your Style"

Track Distances:

Ship Cove to Resolution Bay
2 hours - 4km: undulating, some fitness required
Resolution Bay to Endeavour Inlet
3 hours - 10km: well formed, suited to all age groups
Endeavour Inlet to Punga Cove
4 hours - 11km: well formed, suited to all age groups
Punga Cove to Torea Saddle
8 hours - 24.5km: challenging, med/good fitness required
Torea Saddle to Mistletoe Bay
3 hours - 8km: undulating, some fitness required
Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa
4 hours - 12.5km: well formed, suited to all age groups

* all times are DOC recommended walking times

Centrally located in New Zealand, the Marlborough Sounds are the gateway to the South Island. Marlborough is just minutes by air from the bustling capital of New Zealand, a leisurely cruise from the North Island via the Cook Strait or a pleasant drive by road from any South Island location.

The Queen Charlotte Track experience begins with a scenic boat trip from Picton. It takes approx 1 hour for the trip to historic Ship Cove which marks the beginning of The Queen Charlotte Track.

The 71km coastal walking track stretches from historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa in the spectacular Marlborough Sounds which enjoys a temperate climate and allows good year-round walking conditions.The walk or bike ends at Anakiwa. Because walkers and mountain bikers all move in the same direction at their own pace the track feels uncrowded and tranquil.

Passing through undisturbed stands of beech and rimu, around coves and inlets and along skyline ridges, the track provides stunning views down into Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds, which along with the Pelorus make up the entire Marlborough Sound area. Marlborough’s climate allows good year-round walking conditions.

The lush, subtropical native bush is home to many of New Zealand's native birds including the Bellbird, Tui, the New Zealand Pigeon, Morepork, to name just a few. Seabirds include the Sooty Shearwaters, White-faced Storm Petrel, Weka, Blue Penguin, several species of shag and the Australasian gannets. Quiet moments near the shore can easily become a rewarding wildlife experience.

Well-maintained, the Queen Charlotte Track attracts walkers of all ages, most choosing four day / three night options. Strategically placed throughout the 71km length of track is a range of accommodation options to suit all requirements. The Queen Charlotte Track's "lodge to lodge homestay's" experience provides a unique walking holiday.

Queen Charlotte Track History

In 1979 the Queen Charlotte Track as it is now known was developed by the Department of Conservation in conjunction with many local organisations in Marlborough.

In 1998 the track won the New Zealand Tourism Award for Best Visitor Attraction. The Queen Charlotte Track is now known as Marlborough's iconic attraction ~ a truly unique New Zealand Experience.

Department of Conservation, New ZealandThe Queen Charlotte Track is maintained and managed by the Department of Conservation. Their role is to conserve the natural and historic heritage of New Zealand for the benefit of present and future users.