3 Day Freedom Bike Ride Queen Charlotte Track

_IAN4026Located at the top of the South Island, in the Marlborough Sounds, The Queen Charlotte Track is quickly becoming one of New Zealand’s classic tracks and a “must do” on every international or domestic visitor’s itinerary. This 70km mountain biking (and walking) track is renowned for its panoramic coastal views, lush coastal forest, resort accommodation and excellent water transport services – creating an experience that is challenging yet comfortable. Regarded as one of New Zealand’s best single track rides, this is a challenging track with many technical stages, and riders do need a good level of riding fitness to enjoy the trip.

Our itinerary allows mountain bikers to enjoy the track in a hassle-free adventure. We have selected the best accommodation and water transport operator and this, coupled with our own award-winning client service, ensures that your ride on the Queen Charlotte Track will be a memorable experience.

The following skill indicator is a guideline for assessing the best itinerary option for riding the track.

Skill Indicator

  • Novice rider – a confident rider on roads or forest tracks.
  • Intermediate – has ridden some single tracks, but not experienced.
  • Experienced – regularly rides single tracks.


Itinerary Options

Option 1. THE LONG WEEKENDER RIDE – 2.5 DAYS, 2 NIGHTS Allows for arrival in Picton and some riding on the same day
Day One – Ship Cove/Resolution Bay to Furneaux Lodge (2.5 hour ride – 15km)
Day Two – Furneaux Lodge to The Portage (5-6 hour ride – 35.6km)
Day Three – The Portage to Anakiwa (3.5 to 4 hours – 20.7km)

Option 2. THE FULL MONTY – 3 DAYS, 2 NIGHTS Allow for an overnight in Picton before riding the next day
Day One – Ship Cove/Resolution Bay to Punga Cove Resort (3.5-4 hour ride – 26.5km)
Day Two – Punga Cove Resort to The Portage  (3.5 to 4 hour ride – 23.6km)
Day Three – The Portage  to Anakiwa (3.5 to 4 hours – 20.7km)


Prices for 2020/21 season


Standard Furneaux Lodge Tobias Lawn or Cottage
The Portage Weka Room
Cost per Person $735 (single supplement of $270)
Sea View Furneaux Lodge Tobias Lawn or Cottage
The Portage Korimako Suite
Cost per person $755 (single supplement of $290)
Upgrade Furneaux Lodge Endeavour or Resolution Suite
The Portage Tui Terrace
Cost per person $795 (single supplement of $330)


Standard Punga Cove Koru
The Portage Weka Room
Cost per Person $690(single supplement of $220)
Sea View Punga Cove Koru
The Portage Korimako Suite
Cost per person $710 (single supplement of $240)
Upgrade Punga Cove Frond or Fern
The Portage Tui Terrace
Cost per person $810 (single supplement of $340)

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  • Mountain bike rental – Scott Scale 760 mountain bike with front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, tool kit, pump, helmet, water bottle carrier, and map
  • Pre-trip information
  • Complete information pack for use while riding the track
  • Twin share accommodation, as listed
  • Packed lunch each day
  • Water transport to the track and water transfer of luggage each day
  • Transfer back to Picton
  • Use of the Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company as a base
  • Queen Charlotte Track Land Co-op Pass

Trip Conditions

  • Booking is subject to accommodation availability on the track
  • Single supplements do apply.
  • Dinner, breakfast and refreshment costs are to be met by client. As you are staying at licensed resorts they request that you do not take alcohol on to the property.
  • Additional water transport costs, if required, are to be met by client.
  • Upon arrival at our office you will be asked to complete a registration form. You must understand that you are taking a self-guided trip, therefore you are responsible for your own safety and well-being for the duration. Any additional costs incurred during your trip, due to illness or accident, are to be met by yourselves.

We understand that due to Covid19, Governments can unexpectedly impose travel bans that disrupt your plans. Please note that we will be recommending, that should changes be required due to travel restrictions, you transfer your booking to a later date (within 12 months of your booking). There is no fee for change of bookings under these conditions.

Our payment, cancellation and refund policy is as follows:

  1. A non-refundable deposit of $100 per person is required to confirm your booking
  2. Full payment is required 30 days prior to departure date.
  3. Cancellations received 30 to 8 days prior to departure date receive -50% of total package refunded
  4. Cancellations received 7 days or less from date of departure – no refund

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance.  If you are living in NZ, we know it is not commonplace to take out domestic travel insurance, however the investment in your holiday with us can be substantial therefore it is worth considering taking out domestic travel insurance for this purpose.  Companies such as https://www.covermore.co.nz/travel-insurance/domestic-travel-insurance are worth considering.

Rental Conditions

  • Clients are required to be at our office forty-five minutes prior to departure, for a bike fit-out and briefing.
  • If it has been raining, we may not rent the bikes out as the track can be too slippery to ride. We will not rent bikes out if we believe the condition of the track will affect the quality of your ride.
  • Clients are required to provide a bond of some form. This is usually a credit card imprint for $800 which we hold at our office until they return. Other personal items may be used if clients are not travelling with a credit card.

The track is open all year, but the section from Ship Cove to Punga Cove is closed to mountain bikers from 1 December to 28 February.

Once you know your preferred departure date, contact us and we will check availability. It is helpful if you can also indicate other dates that are suitable around your preferred date, in case your first choice of date is not available.

We recommend that riders wear or bring:

  • Shorts
  • Soft shoes (heavy shoes or tramping boots are not suitable)
  • Sun protection
  • Warm, protective clothing
  • Water

Mountain bike rental includes:

  • Scott Scale 60 bikes which have been maintained in-house by our Shimano-qualified bike mechanic. Bikes have front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and 27 gears.
  • Tool Kit
  • Pump
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle carrier
  • Map

Also available:

SPD pedals are available upon request

What meals are included in our trip?

A packed lunch is included in your freedom ride package. Dinner and breakfast can be purchased at the resorts each day. Each resort has a different style of dining and menu options ranging from bar meals to a la carte dining. Breakfasts range in price from approximately $15 for a continental breakfast to $22 for a cooked breakfast. Dinners range from approximately $20 for a bar meal to $60 for a 2 or 3 course a la carte option. Facilities are limited for you to take your own breakfast, and this is dependent upon the style of accommodation you choose.

Is there water available on the track?

Drinking water is available at strategic places on the track. We recommend that you carry a pump bottle that holds approximately 750ml or more which can be topped up during the day.

What is the track surface like to ride?

The track has a clay base which means that in dry conditions it is hard and relatively easy riding, but when it has rained it is extremely slippery and difficult to ride. We will not rent bikes out if we believe the condition of the track will affect the quality of your ride. While some sections of the track are easy to ride, other sections have tree roots, bluffs and rocky areas that make riding more challenging.

Is the track open all year?

Yes, but the section from Ship Cove to Punga Cove is closed from 1 December to 28 February each year.

How much experience do you need to ride the Queen Charlotte Track?

The Queen Charlotte Track is regarded as a technical track so to ride the whole track, you need to be a reasonably skilled rider. If you are less skilled or unsure of your abilities, there are easier options, such as the section from Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa.

How many days does it take to ride the track?

For experienced riders we recommend two days – Ship Cove to Portage on Day One, and then Portage to Anakiwa on Day Two.
For less experienced riders we recommend three days – Ship Cove to Punga Cove (Day One), Punga Cove to Portage (Day Two), and Portage to Anakiwa (Day Three).

Do we have panniers for the bikes?

No, because the water transport companies carry your packs as part of your water transfers, panniers are not required. Also the terrain is too rough for easy carriage of panniers on the bikes.

Do you have a question?  Please fill in the form below or, maybe you want to  check availability  before making a booking?

If you are ready to book a trip, then please click the “Book Now” button above which will take you to our check availability page and book now page.

Sometimes it is easier to just pick up the phone and get the answer you need, in which case, please give us a call  on (+64) 03 573 6078, NZ Freephone 0800 283 283, or Australia Freephone on 1800 007 083 anytime.  We are usually contactable by phone from 8.00am to 10.00pm (NZ time) each day.

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