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Biking the Queen Charlotte Track

The Queen Charlotte Track, located at the top of the South Island in the Marlborough Sounds is unique for its stunning coastal views, historical landmarks and wonderful variety of native bush and wildlife. The track is regarded as one of New Zealand’s best single track mountain bike rides. The Track is 71km (44 miles) in length and it has been purposely built to cater to both walkers and bikers.

Queen Charlotte 1

It is the longest piece of continuous single track in the country and is suitable for novice riders while being challenging enough for the experienced mountain biker. Renowned for its stunning scenery and challenging terrain it is a mountain biking experience like no other, and the best part - you don't have to carry your pack! The temperate climate of the area enables the track to be traversed all year round with the most best season being from November to May. Stretching from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, this track will wrap you in the mystical beauty that is the Marlborough Sounds, and totally absorb you for many days.

How fit do I need to be?

For bikers, a moderate level of fitness and experience is required. Most of the track is wide and benched, varying from 1 to 1.5m in width and all major streams have been bridged. The surface is mainly clay soil and is firm in dry conditions, providing relatively easy riding, but when wet can often be slippery. The surface does have areas with rocky loose material, tree roots, steps and some bluffs, so care is required at all times.

How technical is the track?

The Queen Charlotte Track can be ridden by all ages and abilities. While the track is not a "steep" track (the highest point is 406 metres or 1332 feet from sea level), there are many short sharp ascents and likewise descents, which require reasonable riding skill. To ride the entire track from start to finish, you need to be a reasonably skilled rider, as it is regarded as a technical track. However the segment that we ride on the 3 day bike option on the 'Rimu' trip provides easier options, such as the section from Waterfall to Anakiwa, for those that are less skilled or unsure of their abilities. Most importantly the Queen Charlotte Track provides a wide variety of biking terrain to choose from, so your guides can cater your ride to you and your group's abilities to ensure that everyone has a great time!

Check out our 'Rimu' trip to learn more about our 3 day bike option on the Queen Charlotte Track: 

Trip Reviews

  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    Tui Trip Nov 2017

    My husband and I, along with two other friends, went on the 8 day Tui Trip in November of 2017. It was truly the trip of a lifetime. We spent additional time in NZ on our own, but the Tui Trip was the hands down highlight. This type of trip was our of our usual wheelhouse, typically preferring city based trips, but this may have changed our outlook forever! The day hike in Siberia Valley and night spent under the stars was a personal favorite. Ben and Liana were incredible guides. They made us feel at home immediately, and kept it fun and casual throughout. Our group was the perfect size. By the end of 8 days, it felt like we were leaving a new family behind. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone and would do it again in a heart beat!
    Lindsay Busch Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Tui, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Rimu Was Extraordinary

    We have been dreaming of visiting New Zealand for a long time, we wanted to see and explore all the best sites in an active way, but doing this on our own would have been overwhelming! Active Adventures was the complete answer. They took us to the best places, sites and beautiful landscapes that we could only have dreamed about. Our group was small which allowed us all to bond, our guides Astrid and Steve could not have been better - fun, knowledgeable, organized and excellent cooks. I got the sense they really enjoyed what they do! I would strongly recommend this tour - a trip of a lifetime that words can’t describe - we will never forget it.
    Colleen Clark Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Rimu, February 2018
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    Tui

    We had a truly great time. Our guides, Koru and Liana were the best. They made the trip so much fun, especially in the light of the unpredictable New Zealand weather! And Lynette was always right there to help us along every step of the way. I brought home memories of a lifetime, and discovered that Kiwis are absolutely the friendliest people on earth. The Tui Trip was a great introductory tour, but now I want to come back again and spend more time hiking and exploring the South Island.

    Many thanks to the whole Active Adventures team. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    - Mick
    Mick Owens Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Tui, December 2016
  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1211 reviews)

    Smorgasbord.

    A great way to explore the North Island and get a taste of different activities.
    Ineke van Hasselt Review Image
    – British Columbia, Canada
    Kauri, May 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    The Best Way to Spend my 30th Birthday!

    Going to New Zealand has been at the very top of my bucket list for quite a long time and I finally decided to scratch it off when I turned 30. Active Adventures was, from the beginning, the only tour group I would consider travelling with. They were the only group that not only had everything I wanted to do in New Zealand, but also had the highest level of professionalism and ratings that made me trust them.
    From the moment they picked us up at the airport I was certain I’d judged them correctly. Tess was simply an amazing tour guide (we called her mum because that’s exactly how we felt about her) not only was she fun, she took care of us, fed us, and kept us organized. Andy supplemented the tour with such interesting history and facts that I felt like I was on a school trip (in a good way!).
    All in all it was an amazing vacation, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it!
    Thank you Active Adventures for making my 30th the year to remember!
    Dani Felton Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Rimu, November 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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