World Reviewer rating

Worth a detour
Rating 1.5 (136 votes)

Queen Charlotte Track

Listed under Trekking in South Island, New Zealand.

  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
  • Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
Photo of Queen Charlotte Track
Photo by flickr user Christopher Hay
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The 71km Queen Charlotte Track traverses the pretty fjord like region at the top of New Zealand’s South Island along Queen Charlotte Sound through to Anakiwa, finishing on a high note with spectacular views of the Marlborough Sounds region, one of New Zealand’s most dramatic vistas. This whole journey is easily sold on the views it offers: the landscape is varied with many private inlets and beaches and the coastal bush is lush and peaceful; there is also the possibility of meeting a wide range of New Zealand’s unusual wildlife.

Birdlife may also be a big draw for you, with bellbirds, kiwis, wekas, gannets and tuis living amongst the ancient rainforest plants and native orchids.

The trek begins at Ship Cove and at 71kms is a fairly easy trip, with few steep sections and none more than 400 metres elevation from sea level. Walkers tend to plan between 3 and 5 days of walking and camping to complete it, there are about 7 different camp sites along the route. The last time I walked this track was in 2005 and I was lucky enough to see some dolphins who had strayed into the maze of waterways and a family of blue penguins resting near the Anakiwa end of the track. In the off season the track is also open to mountain bikers but and it gets muddy for everyone then.

Written by  Tom Newarque.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Cycle - don't do it!

I would go again but walk it next time.

1 Reply

Is it the inclines that put you off?

As well as campsites there is a wide variety of other accommodation along the track ranging from budget backpackers through to luxury lodges.

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