The section of Queen Charlotte Track between Mistletoe Bay and Anakiwa is regarded as one of NZ’s best single track rides. This section is ideal for the first time mountain biker or those with little single track experience, as the terrain is relatively level, compared to the rest of the track.
Trip Departure Time: 11.30am (summer) 9.00am (winter)
Trip Return Time: 4.30pm (summer), 3.30pm (winter)
Duration: 1 day
The following skill indicator is a guideline for assessing the best itinerary option for riding the track.
Skill level recommended for this itinerary: Novice
Riders take a water taxi ride from Picton to Mistletoe Bay and start with a steady ascent to the top of the hill to join the Queen Charlotte Track. The track sidles around the eastern side of Onahau Bay and the views are stunning as you look back along Queen Charlotte Sound. Riders then follow the Grove Arm foreshore through stunning native beech forest on a gradual descent for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
Actual biking time: 2 hours
If you are a party of mixed-ability riders i.e. some experienced and some not, then you may like to take the option from Torea Bay. Here, the experienced riders can ride the track, the less experienced riders can ride the road, and all meet at the Mistletoe Bay turn off to ride the final section together.
Available October to April, just pick your date and let us arrange it for you. Over the winter months (May to September) this ride starts from Torea Bay.
We recommend that riders wear or bring:
Mountain bike rental includes:
Do we hire e-bikes?
No we don’t have any e-bikes. For more information about riding the QCT on e-bikes please go to our page about Queen Charlotte Track
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. This makes for relatively easy riding when the weather is dry but it can be slippery and difficult to ride in the rain. 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 Waterfall to Anakiwa. We often have people that are “bike fit” but have not actually mountain biked on a single track before. We would regard someone with this level of experience as a beginner. If you have ridden single track often, then we would regard you as an experienced rider.
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 paniers on the bikes.