/Clutha Gold – New Zealand Cycle Trails – Nga Haerenga
Clutha Gold – New Zealand Cycle Trails – Nga Haerenga 2017-09-12T08:12:00+00:00

Clutha Gold Trail

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Queen Charlotte Track

Royal views

Show me!

Queen Charlotte Track

Royal views

Show me!

intro

Coronation of your visit to the Marlborough Sounds

At the top of the south island, in Marlborough Sounds, you find a track with royal views. When you cycle the Queen Charlotte Track, you can count on amazing views, dense rainforest, sheltered inlets and crystal clear water. Seventy kilometers of rich history, great ocean views and a track you can put together yourself!

In this digital magazine you will find handy and practical tips, facts, useful links, but most off all our experience. And, of course, a lot of photos. No doubt you wil get a good idea of the Queen Charlotte Track and what to expect. Enjoy reading!

Coronation of your visit to Marlborough Sounds

At the top of the south island, in Marlborough Sounds, you find a track with royal views. When you cycle the Queen Charlotte Track, you can count on amazing views, dense rainforest, sheltered inlets and crystal clear water. Seventy kilometers of rich history, great ocean views and a track you can put together yourself!

In this digital magazine you will find handy and practical tips, facts, useful links, but most off all our experience. And, of course, a lot of photos. No doubt you wil get a good idea of the Queen Charlotte Track and what to expect. Enjoy reading!

General info

New Zealand Cycle Trails consist of 5 grades:

1. very easy
2. easy
3. intermediate
4. advanced
5. expert

We learned that grade 1, 2 and 3 is suitable for touring bikes. Take some steep climbs in account. Grade 4 and 5 are suitable for experienced and expert mountainbikers. The adventure stuff with obstacles, a lot of curves, hill climbs and steep drop-offs. Be aware, sometimes a cycle trail consists of several grades. Motu Trails is a good example: Dunes Trail is very easy, while the Pakihi Track is advanced.

Queen Charlotte Track: Easy to arrange!

Check out our blog loaded with tips on how easy it is to arrange your Queen Charlotte cycling experience. We gathered all the information you need to make this trip a succes! Read our blog.

That’s handy! More tips please!

General info

New Zealand Cycle Trails consist of 5 grades:

1. very easy
2. easy
3. intermediate
4. advanced
5. expert

We learned that grade 1, 2 and 3 is suitable for touring bikes. Take some steep climbs in account. Grade 4 and 5 are suitable for experienced and expert mountainbikers. The adventure stuff with obstacles, a lot of curves, hill climbs and steep drop-offs. Be aware, sometimes a cycle trail consists of several grades. Motu Trails is a good example: Dunes Trail is very easy, while the Pakihi Track is advanced.

Queen Charlotte Track: Easy to arrange!

Check out our blog loaded with tips on how easy it is to arrange your Queen Charlotte cycling experience. We gathered all the information you need to make this trip a succes! Read our blog.

That’s handy! More tips please!

General info

New Zealand Cycle Trails consist of 5 grades:

1. very easy
2. easy
3. intermediate
4. advanced
5. expert

We learned that grade 1, 2 and 3 is suitable for touring bikes. Take some steep climbs in account. Grade 4 and 5 are suitable for experienced and expert mountainbikers. The adventure stuff with obstacles, a lot of curves, hill climbs and steep drop-offs. Be aware, sometimes a cycle trail consists of several grades. Motu Trails is a good example: Dunes Trail is very easy, while the Pakihi Track is advanced.

Queen Charlotte Track: Easy to arrange!

Check out our blog loaded with tips on how easy it is to arrange your Queen Charlotte cycling experience. We gathered all the information you need to make this trip a succes! Read our blog.

That’s handy! More tips please!

Nutshell

Queen Charlotte Track in a nutshell

Where?
The Queen Charlotte Track is situated in Marlborough Sounds in the north of the South Island. A very impressive area, known for its stunning coastal views, rainforest and wildlife. The Queen Charlotte Track starts in Ship Cove and ends in Anakiwa with constant views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. Water taxis take you from Picton to your starting point en pick you up after your bike ride.

When?
You can cycle the Queen Charlotte Track the whole year. Please note that from December 1 to February 28 the section from Ship Cove to Punga Cove is closed. The rest of the track is open the whole year.

Starting point
Watertaxi from Picton

Tip!
Haven’t got much time? Or not such an experienced cyclist yet? Skip the hard parts and take a watertaxi. Or cycle along the Kenepuru Road for a bit. Also very beautiful!

Here you find the Queen Charlotte Track!

Route
Beautiful divers cycle trail, following one of the oldest railway tracks in New Zealand through stunning nature, past waterfalls, an impressive gorge, wetlands and lots of history from the gold mining days.

Distance
173 km

Grade
Easy

Number of days
2 to 4 days

Accommodation
Lots of hotels, guesthouses, B&B and campsites.

Transport
Shuttle busses take you to or pick you up along the trail. You have to organise this yourself. There are several companies in the villages along the Hauraki Rail Trail who gladly help you with that.

Our tips
Plan enough time to ride the Hauraki Rail Trail. There’s a lot to see and do. And don’t forget to bring a torch for the 1km tunnel!

Haven’t got much time? The Hauraki Rail Trail counts 5 sections. So just choose one (or two 😉 ). They vary from 23km to 55km and are all very beautiful. Or take the ancient steam train from Waikino to Waihi and take your bike along!

More information

Where?
The Queen Charlotte Track is situated in Marlborough Sounds in the north of the South Island. A very impressive area, known for its stunning coastal views, rainforest and wildlife. The Queen Charlotte Track starts in Ship Cove and ends in Anakiwa with constant views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. Water taxis take you from Picton to your starting point en pick you up after your bike ride.

When?
You can cycle the Queen Charlotte Track the whole year. Please note that from December 1 to February 28 the section from Ship Cove to Punga Cove is closed. The rest of the track is open the whole year.

Starting point
Watertaxi from Picton

Tip!
Haven’t got much time? Or not such an experienced cyclist yet? Skip the hard parts and take a watertaxi. Or cycle along the Kenepuru Road for a bit. Also very beautiful!

Here you find the Queen Charlotte Track!

Route
Beautiful trail along romantic bays, native forest and stunning views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. The best way to cycle the track is from Ship Cove to Anakiwa.

Distance
70 km

Grade
Advanced and expert

Number of days
2 to 3 days

Accommodation
Lots of hotels, (luxury) guesthouses, B&B’s and campsites.

Transport
Water taxis to the start and finish of your bike ride. You have to organise this yourself. There are several companies in Picton who can help you with that.

Our tip
There are loads of nice places along the Queen Charlotte Track to sit down, relax and have a coffee. We had a real good coffee at Punga Cove. And it comes with a complementary awesome view!

More information

4 Pictures

Knee-deep

Knee-deep

Track with a view

Fantastic, awesome, unbelievable, magical, beautiful….. We can go on for a while like this when we think back on when we cycled the Queen Charlotte Track last summer.

Right in front of me, Peter hits its brakes abruptly. With slipping wheels I too come to a stop. Diagonal on the track to avoid a crash. “A crossing Weka?”, I ask, somewhat startled. But no, ‘just’ another view not to be missed taking a picture of. And yes, he is right again. Also this vista is breathtaking. We gaze upon Queen Charlotte Sound and when we turn ourselves, also Kenepuru Sound. Fantastic, that screams out for a panaroma shot!

Perfect contrast

The green of the rainforest and the azure blue of the ocean contrast perfectly with the clear blue sky. In the back birds sing their songs, a gentle breeze touches the trees. Who would want to cycle on? Not us, so we decide that Nikau View is going to be the spot for a well deserved lunch. We are lucky, no curious Weka’s here who are always keen and eager to inspect your backpack. Just a few seasoned hikers conquering the Te Araroa Track. This long-distance trail takes you from the northernmost point of New Zealand all the way to the south. It covers roughly 3,000 kilometers and also includes the Queen Charlotte track. Good choice! Turns out that the trampers stay in the same lodge as we do, so the deal to drink a beer together was made in a sec!

Ouch, caught in the act! Even I couldn’t resist taking a picture….

Curious Wekas inspect your backpack and even your lunch if given a chance!

No hurry

We say goodbye to the view and the hikers. With the comforting thought that this most likely wasn’t the last viewpoint, we hop on our bikes to continue our journey. This time we make sure that the gap between us is a bit bigger, to prevent bruises and fractures. A good thing, more than once I see Peter rummage about in his photo-bag to dig up a fresh memory card or a battery which still has some juice. Seems that it was a good choice after all to bring some spare ones! We daren’t say what time we arrived at our accommodation, but let’s just mention that Queen Charlottes sunsets are just plain awesome! Oh yes, the Te Araroa walkers were sipping their second beer already, while ours went warm….

To us, the Queen Charlotte Track is the track of the views. Every corner surprises you with yet another treat! So gorgeous, that in the end it took us way more time than all the brochures and websites indicate. But, who cares?! Why rush with so much beauty around you! The Queen Charlotte Track really is a feast to ride.

Our average speed due to an inhumane amount of beautifulness….

8 k/hr

Keep an eye on the ocean, chances are you’ll spot a dolphin or two and some seals as a bonus!

Also hikers fully enjoy this track!

Our shiny bicycles had to wait for us more than once….

Keep an eye on the ocean, chances are you’ll spot a dolphin or two and some seals as a bonus!

Photos

The  views make you think of  Tropical places and leaves you longing for a delicious cocktail!

Pros and Cons

  • The views are constantly breathtaking!
  • The possibility to be able to choose an alternative route via the Kenepuru road or with a water taxi. A great solution if it might become a bit too tough!
  • Loads of accommodation to choose from.
  • The water taxi ride to the track is a real bonus! Almost like being on a cruise and if you have a bit of luck, you will spot dolphins and seals.
  • Gorgeous bays where you can cool down with a refreshing dip. Often, you’ll be the only ones around. You might even swim into dolphins!

With a bit of luck, you’ll see dolphins or seals!

  • ‘Beware’ of curious Weka’s. Keep an eye on your bag and lunch if you sit down 😉
  • A few tricky parts. You’ll encounter a few steep climbs and stretches best to be walked.
  • The track can become quite busy from Christmas until mid-February. There will be more trampers and bikers on the trail.
  • You definitely will run out of camera juice and memory all to soon! 😉

You’ll encounter a few steep climbs

What is there to do in the surroundings?

Time to spare? Here some nearby suggestions!

What is there to do in the surroundings?

Time to spare? Here some nearby suggestions!

It is a bit of a drive, but certainly worthwhile: French Pass. Magnificent route through the Sounds, gorgeous vistas and venturous roads! Gives you the feeling like being at the end of the world.

Also not around the corner but equally beautiful: Abel Tasman National Park. Yet another spot renown for its awesome views and a mekka for cyclists, hikers and kayaking. 

The official promo-video of the Queen Charlotte Track. Anticipation!

Read more?

Like to read more? Check our blog!

912, 2017

Going wild in Central Otago

Going Wild in Central Otago  A magnificent vast, rough and untouched landscape ‘Did you say you guys are from The Netherlands? That is the country where everybody loves to cycle, isn’t it?’ Ehr yes…. ‘Then you really have to give the Otago Central Rail Trail a go. You’ll love it!’ More than once we had this conversation

1911, 2017

Know before you go

Do you have a plan? We love to explore New Zealand by bike. It takes you to some beautiful remote places. No traffic, no people and no internet. Just you, your bike and overwhelming nature. And because of that you need a plan! It doesn’t take much to turn a short trip into an ‘unexpected night out’ in the

2204, 2017

Pakihi Track: Not for wimps

Not for wimps From easy to average and ending with expert level. Sounds logical we thought. The Motu trails have a neat structure in difficulty level, but, as always, the sting is in de tail! We doubted for a long time if we also wanted to cycle the Pakihi Track: a mountain bike trail for the advanced mountain biker. One

205, 2017

Cycling rules in New Zealand

Cycling rules in New Zealand What are the rules concerning cycling in New Zealand? We summed up the most important ones for you. 1. Left side of the road For those coming from a right hand side country…. Pay attention, but you’ll get used to it. Take extra care at roundabouts! 2. Helmet mandatory Also a bit of getting

Great! Take me there!

Like to read more? Check our blog!

Great! Take me there!

A fantastic place to unwind! Filled with opportunities for the outdoor lovers. Great vistas, tasty food and neat bays to cool down on a hot summers day! And did we say it all comes with a view?  😉

In one sentence
Important note
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