Ride Queen Charlotte Track on this 2 day Freedom Ride and enjoy 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.
Trip Departure Time: 8.00am (or by other arrangement)
Trip Return Time: 4.30pm
Duration: 2 days
The two day ride encompassing the entire track is ideal for the more experienced rider due to the distances and terrain ridden each day. There are three options for a two day itinerary:
Day 1. Ride Ship Cove to Punga Cove (4 hours riding)
Day 2. Ride Punga Cove to Anakiwa (7 hours riding)
Day 1. Ride Ship Cove to Portage (8 hours riding)
Day 2. Ride Portage to Anakiwa (3 hours riding)
Day 1. Ride Punga Cove to Portage (4 hours riding)
Day 2. Ride Portage to Anakiwa (3 hours riding)
*From 1 December to 28 February the section from Ship Cove/Resolution Bay to Punga Cove is closed to mountain bikers so option 3 is your only option during this time.
The following skill indicator is a guideline for assessing the best itinerary options for riding the track.
Section: Ship Cove to Punga Cove
Skill Indicator: Experienced
Actual Biking time: 4.5 hours
Your journey begins with a 1 hour boat ride to Ship Cove. The track climbs out of Ship Cove to the Ship Cove saddle before descending into Resolution Bay. From here you have a long but moderate climb to Tawa Saddle and a slow downhill to Furneaux Lodge. This also includes a rewarding ride around the head of Endeavour Inlet with some technical sections caused by tree roots and drop-offs around Camp Bay.
Section: Punga Cove to Portage Bay
Skill Indicator: Intermediate/Experienced
Actual Biking time: 4 hours
As you climb steeply away from Punga Cove to join the Queen Charlotte Track you will get your first glimpses of the magical views. Today’s ride is about lots of up and down! You will be riding along the ridgeline between the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds so stunning views abound all day, but the terrain is challenging with lots of sharp corners, steep drop offs and of course, those hills. Whilst the inclines aren’t long they are reasonably sharp, and likewise the descents can be sharp. The ride is worth it, but riders definitely need to be experienced mountain bikers to enjoy it. You can ride the road on this section if you prefer.
Section: Portage Bay to Anakiwa
Skill Indicator: Portage Bay to Mistletoe Bay -Experienced, Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa -Novice
Actual Biking time: 3.5 hours
Portage to Mistletoe Bay – begins with a long steep climb, with lots of pushing and some descent switch backs on descent. Some may prefer to take the road for this section.
Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa – the track is narrow and undulating at first and wider and more moderate mid section, then culminating in a long descent into Anakiwa. Riding down to sea level you will come upon some particularly beautiful virgin native bush which leaves visitors with a lasting impression of what New Zealand must have looked like before the arrival of humans. The harbour of Anakiwa comes into view and so too does the end of the Queen Charlotte Track.
|Sea View||Punga Cove||Tui|
|Portage Resort||Korimako Suite|
|Upgrade||Punga Cove||Frond or Fern|
|Portage Resort||Tui Terrace|
|Standard Package||Cost per person $520 (single supplement of $115)|
|Sea View Package||Cost per person $535 (single supplement of $140)|
|Upgrade Package||Cost per person $550 (single supplement of $165)|
We understand that due to Covid19, Governments can unexpectedly impose travel bans that disrupt your plans. We have modified our standard terms and conditions to try and provide more flexibility, should you be affected by changes in government restrictions, while at the same time ensuring that we comply with the terms and conditions required by our suppliers.
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:
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
Available all year round, subject to accommodation availability. Just pick your date and let us arrange it for you.
From 1 December to 28 February the section from Ship Cove/Resolution Bay to Punga Cove is closed to mountain bikers so your itinerary would begin at Punga Cove, reaching Portage on your first day, and through to Anakiwa on your second day.
We recommend that riders wear or bring:
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.