- New Zealand
- The Queen Charlotte TrackMountain biking the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds
- History on the Heaphy
- Suppressing the Competitive UrgeMountain biking in Malborough
- Northern ExposureMountian biking the Coromandel
- Hurunui Hot SpringsWinter mountain biking to Hurunui Hut in the Lake Sumner Forest Park.
- Craigieburn Conservation ParkMountain Biking Craigieburn
- The Brevet ClubGuy and Laurence recount the suffering and intrigue of the inaugural Kiwi Brevet... a 1100km mountain bike race around the top half of the South Island over six days. Informal with self-enforced rules, no entry fee, unsupported, and... well, hard.
- Wharfedale TrackThis is arguably the best and longest stretch of single track in Canterbury
- Double FencelineThis classic trip snakes along the summit ridge of Banks Peninsula.
- One Night StandsOvernight mountain biking trips in the South Island
- Fool's GoldMountain biking in Central Otago
- All that Glistens... the Croesus and Moonlight Gold TrailsMountain biking on the South Island's West Coast
- Otago GoldMountain biking - Bannockburn, Central Otago
- Loop de LoopGreat mountain biking can be found in most corners of this flat earth and New Zealand boasts its fair share of classics.
- Magnetic WestMulti-day mountain biking, Kaikoura to the Tasman sea
- Romping Round the Marlborough SoundsMountain biking Marlborough
- Rambling Around the Marlborough SoundsMountain biking Marlborough, Arapawa and D'Urville Islands
- Off the Beaten Track An off road traverse of the South Island on mountain bikes
- At Peace with PureoraMountain biking around the Pureora Forest in the Central North Island
- Taranaki for NeophytesMountain biking in Taranaki
- South Pacific
- West meets EastAfter riding all morning through the tail of a typhoon, we didn't want to slosh into a Japanese restaurant in that state. I tried drying out by standing under the vent outside the kitchen. I got no drier, but now I smelled of noodles...
- Tien Shan TraverseWhat do you do in the middle of the mountains when two large, thuggish Chinese men get out of a car and stride purposefully towards you? You smile and say thank you for the stale bread and peaches they are offering you!
- One Gear, One Continent, One Hero.Hero Cycles is the world's largest manufacturer of bikes, spitting out a whopping six million a year. You're unlikely to find one at your local bike shop but as any seasoned traveller can attest, they are the 'people's car' of India.
- Laid-back LaosMountain bike touring in Laos
- The Road to MandalayCycle touring in Myanmar
- Vietnam on Thirty Dollars a DayCycle touring in Vietnam
- A Short Ride in the Hindu Kush Cycle touring in Pakistan
- On a Wheel and a Prayer FlagCycle touring in Tibet
- Shanti Shanti - Across the Himalaya by BikeCycling across the Himalayas
- Biking the Hidden HimalayaCycle touring in North West India
- Pedalling Patagonia"Wow! Amazing! You're cycling to the bottom of South America. Is it all downhill?" Alan and I looked at each other in amusement and suggested that we expected a few uphill sections.
- Cycling Cuba with Fidel and Ché
- Dirt Roading in Colombia'The Only Risk is Wanting to Stay', promises Colombia's latest tourist advertising slogan, printed over glossy photos of idyllic Caribbean coastlines, perfectly preserved colonial towns, rolling, lush coffee plantations and a Latin couple dancing hot cumbia.
- Famous Potato Recipes from Idaho
- My Private Idaho
- Donde Estan Los Pollos
- Alaska - the Last Frontier The Alaskan Iditasport Human Powered Ultramarathon
- In Search of Maple Syrup and a Decent National Anthem Mountain biking in Canada
- All You Can EatMountain Biking in Northern California
- Caffeine and Singletrack in the USA Mountain biking in South West Colorado
- Bici Dolomiti Cycle touring around Italy and the Dolomites
- A Slice of Swiss CheeseMountain biking in Switzerland
- London Calling The London Cycle Show
- Stairway to Heaven - biking Spain's Camino de SantiagoCycle touring in Spain
- Albania for BeginnersIn the summer of 2009, our route from Greece to Germany crossed the small country of Albania...
- Fat Tyre Touring in ItalyCycle touring through Italy.
- Corsica- touring the scented isleCycling in the Mediterranean
- A Scottish Coast to CoastCycle touring in Scotland
- Crouching Tiger - Cycling Ireland's South West Coast Cycling Ireland's South West Coast
- The Italian Job Mountain biking around Lake Garda
- Double DutchA cycle tour of the Netherlands.
- A Rather Big Swedish RaceMountain bike racing in Sweden
- French ConnectionCircumnavigating Mont Blanc on the "Sentier Pedestre" hiking trail.
- A Month in Provence Cycle touring in the South of France
- A French PilgrimageTouring with the Tour de France
- End to End, the Long WayCycle touring in Great Britain
- Steve's SabbaticalCycle touring in France
The Queen Charlotte Track
Guy Wynn-Williams, UnderGround Issue 1, December 1994
Updated 29 August 2012The Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds is a truly great introduction to off-road multi-day mountain biking. Best enjoyed in half-day portions so you can spend plenty of time wallowing in the ocean, imbibing the views and the occasional quenching ale.
Here's the scoop...Cruise the track over three days staying overnight in Punga Cove and Lochmara Bay. You could squeeze it into a weekend by using the camp site a couple of hours beyond Punga Cove which has water and a cooking shelter. Masochists may choose to blitz it in a single day with all the requisite urgency and fatigue that goes with that approach. Anyway here's the three-day version...
Day One:Ship Cove to Punga Cove (about 4 to 6 hours of cycling heaven)
Catch an early water taxi from Picton to Ship Cove. Travel time is around an hour. Cost is $50-100 (the lesser rate if you charter a boat for a party of five or more) plus a fiver for your bike. Arrange for your overnight gear to be ferried ahead each day to your overnight stop, so you can travel light with just your day pack. The track snakes its way through native bush in and out of the inlets, all the way to Punga Cove. Don't be deterred by the initial slog out of Ship Cove. Backpacker accommodation at Punga Cove Resort is $45 per night (book in advance - there are only 8 beds at this rate). Or you could choose to camp. There's a restaurant at Punga Cove if you don't fancy lugging cookers and food with you.
Day 2:Punga Cove to Lochmara Bay or Portage (2 to 4 scenic hours)
It's a bit of a grunt up and along the ridge before dropping down to Portage. A few years back, the good fairies at DOC created some new benched track along this section which lets you cruise the tops. The foliage is second generation scrub but the views into Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds compensate. And the downhill into Portage is a snorting good time. Stop here if you're down on energy, otherwise continue for another hour to the idyllic Lochmara Lodge and Restaurant - just off the main track in the bay of the same name. Plan to arrive early in the afternoon to make the most of the grounds and facilities. Rooms are $100-200 for two but worth the indulgence. Portage Resort has less expensive options with bunk rooms at $45 or the nearby campsite in Cowshed Bay.
Day 3:Lochmara Bay to Anakiwa (2 to 4 hours); Anakiwa to Picton (2 hours)
A short easy climb after breakfast reunites you with the main track before scooting down to Te Mahia saddle. From the saddle it's benched singletrack carving its way down through the bush to Anakiwa. By the end you'll be wearing a wicked grin and wanting to head back for another whirl. To unwind, it's a scenic amble on the tarmac around Queen Charlotte Drive to Picton.
The Nitty Gritty> Note that the Ship Cove to Punga Cove section is closed to bikes from 1 December to 1 March.
> The Marlborough Sounds 1:100,000 map is the ticket. For greater detail Topo P27 covers the whole track apart from Ship Cove and Resolution Bay.
> Track info at Queen Charlotte Track.
> Transport: Cougar Line Cougar Line (03) 573 7925; Endeavour Express (03) 573 5456; Arrow Water Taxis (03) 573 8229.
> Lodging: Punga Cove Resort (03) 579 8561; Lochmara Lodge (03) 573 4554; Portage Hotel (03) 573 4309
> For other enquires, try the Picton Information Centre, (03) 520 3113 or DOC Picton (03) 520 3002.