Due to the steep hill out of Ship Cove, some riders may want to start at Resolution Bay.
The track begins with a long but moderate climb to Tawa Saddle and then heads downhill towards Endeavour Inlet.
A rewarding ride around the head of Endeavour Inlet, with some technical sections caused by tree roots and drop offs around Camp Bay.
As Ship Cove can only be reached by boat transport can be arranged through a range of Picton tourist operators, who can also arrange to carry your bags to your intended destination.
No camping is permitted at Ship Cove but there is a DOC campsite at Camp Bay and a private campsite at Miners at the head of Endeavour Inlet. A large range of accommodation is also available throughout Endeavour Inlet as follows – Blue Water Lodge, Cnoc na Lear, Endeavour Resort & Fishing Lodge, Furneaux Lodge, Mahana Lodge, Miners Camp, Noeline’s Homestay, No Road Inn, Punga Cove Resort, Resolution Bay Cabins, Madsen’s Camp and The Woolshed.
This section of track is mostly single-track, and is the most technically demanding part of the ride.
Renowned for its stunning scenery and challenging terrain the Queen Charlotte Track is a mountain biking experience like no other, and the best part of all your pack is transferred for you, by one of the water transport operators, to your destination so all you have to do is ride.
While the Queen Charlotte Track is regarded as a classic New Zealand walk, the 70 km track is now also regarded as one of New Zealand’s best single track mountain bike rides and became the 21st Great Ride on the Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail in March 2013.
It is the longest piece of continuous single track in the country. The track is graded as intermediate/grade 3 and advanced/grade 4 mountain biking. Most riders will find some sections of the track easier to walk. If you are moderately fit and experienced at mountain biking, the track is very rideable, albeit steep and challenging in certain sections, especially when rain has rendered it slippery and muddy. Less experienced riders may prefer to avoid the ridge-top sections of the central part of the track by riding along Kenepuru Road between Kenepuru Saddle and Portage.
Two days are needed by most riders of reasonable fitness to complete the entire track comfortably. Those with time restrictions or longer to spend can choose to do particular sections or spread the ride over a leisurely three to four days.
Biking on the track is permitted all year round except for the section between Meretoto/Ship Cove and Kenepuru Saddle, which is closed to bikes over the busy summer season from 1 December to 28 February each year.
There are no facilities along the way for repairing bikes so please ensure you have adequate tools and equipment and are competent to complete your own repairs.
Local Trail Association
More Stats for Queen Charlotte (Ship cove to Kenepuru Saddle) mountain bike trail
Altitude change560 ft
Altitude min2 ft
Altitude start7 ft
Altitude end567 ft
Distance climb7.6 miles
Distance down6.9 miles
Distance flat2,113 ft
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