The Queen Charlotte Track is 42 mile long trail that starts at Ship Cove and ends at Anakiwa. I met 4 other friends there (Ian,Ian,Erik,Mark) for a 3 day Mountain biking trip.
The Marlborough Sounds is home to an immense maze of bays and mountainous terrain that has been created over years of seismic forces thrusting mountains up . The Queen Charlotte Track (yellow trail in the image above) runs in and out of coves and up and over mountains and along a ridge with views of the sounds the entire way, 42 miles of magical (kid-free) blissfulness.
3 days of mountain biking, and NO, I am not going to carry all of my gear on my back… Water Taxis keep busy in the sounds. They transport hikers, bikers and many people with houses that are only accessible by water. The water taxi “package” includes a boat ride to the start of the track and baggage transport each night to the lodge where we were staying, then a water taxi pickup at the end of the trail.
The track starts at Ship Cove, Captain James Cook’s first landing spot in NZ during his south pacific explorations.
The track was in good condition, with minimal mud and bridges over all large streams.
Ian Summerfield riding
A nice spot for with a view for dinner at Punga Cove. As we sat there nursing our beers in peace and quiet we counted up 14 children between us…..which as Molly pointed out means that other people were currently caring for those 14 children.
The first night’s stay was at Punga cove, a nice sandy beach overlooking the sounds. Homebrew tastes good out of a Nalgene, complements of the water taxi service.
- One of the many views along the trail
Weka’s are like a wild chicken, bold little buggers that can be found at most camping areas.
The Maori Pou whenua land post carving is the New Zealand’s version of a totem pole.
Parts of the trail consisted of hills that where to steep to ride.
Here I rode up the hill ahead and as soon as the guys saw me trying to take a photo of them, they jumped on their bikes..
Maps and signs are frequent along the trail–Great job DOC.
One of the days I biked ahead of the group so I could get a long run in that afternoon. Why would I do something nutty like that, you might ask? I’m getting ready for the Kepler Challenge, a 60 kilometer mountain run, which means I’m making a steady habit of pushing my body past its comfort zone.
2nd night at Portage bay, replenishing lost carbs.
We had a brief swim towards the end of the trail at Davies Bay
It was a great trip–a boat to transport beer and gear every day, and an excellent hiking or mt biking trail.