The Queen Charlotte Track (71km one-way; 3–5 days; year-round) is a stunningly beautiful walk partly tracing skyline ridges with brilliant views across coastal forest to the waters of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru sounds. It is broad, relatively easy going and distinguished from all other Kiwi multi-day tramps by the lack of DOC huts, replaced by some lovely accommodation. Access and egress is generally by boat from Picton. Water taxis can transport your bags to your next destination each day. Boats call at numerous bays along the way, so less ambitious walkers can tackle shorter sections, do day-hikes from Picton or take on the track as part of a guided walk.

The track passes through some grassy farmland and open gorse-covered hills, but both ends of it are forest reserves. There are a number of detours off the main track, including a short walk from Ship Cove to a pretty forest-shrouded waterfall, a scramble down to the Bay of Many Coves, or a foray to the Antimony Mines (where there are exposed shafts – stick to the marked tracks). To do the whole track in three days, get an early start from Ship Cove and plan to hike to Camp Bay. From there you have a fairly long day to Portage, then a relatively easy finish.

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