Ride the Queen Charlotte Track from Ship Cove to Punga Cove in a day. Experience the scenic wonder of the outer Queen Charlotte Sound as you arrive at Ship Cove/Meretoto and then the newly formed track, specially designed to allow for easier riding and walking between Ship Cove and Resolution Bay.
Please note that this option is not available between 1 December and 28 February each year. The Punga Cove to Torea Bay option is available all year and the most suitable for riders looking for another challenging option during this period.
Trip Departure Time: 8.00am
Trip Return Time: 4.30pm
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: Intermediate to Experienced
Your journey begins with a 1 hour boat ride to Ship Cove, the start of the Queen Charlotte Track. It is a gradual climb out of Ship Cove as the track has recently been realigned to make an easier gradient for bikers and walkers. Its a steady downhill into Resolution Bay and then a a long but moderate climb out of Resolution Bay to Tawa Saddle and slow downhill to Furneaux Lodge. If time permits, stop at Furneaux Lodge for lunch or refreshments before riding around the head of Endeavour Inlet to Punga Cove for your pickup. There are some technical sections caused by tree roots and drop offs around Camp Bay, on the way to Punga Cove, so care is required.
Actual biking time: 4.5 hours
Available from 1 March to 30 November only, subject to bike availability.
We recommend that riders wear or bring:
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.