The Queen Charlotte Track

This track connects historic Ship Cove, near the entrance to Totaranui (Queen Charlotte Sound) with Anakiwa, 71 kilometres away, at Linkwater. Various sections of the track have been developed independently and the full track was only commissioned in the mid-1980s. The section from Ship Cove to Endeavour Inlet runs past Puhikereru’s front garden and continues on from the head of Endeavour Inlet around Big Bay to Punga Cove, where it rises to the Kenepuru Saddle. It then broadly follows the ridge between Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as far as Te Mahia. There it swings south and heads down the Western side of Lochamara bay to the final coastal section to Anakiwa.


This first section of the track, from Ship Cove to Punga Cove, is entirely on public land and can be walked at any time of the year; bikes are allowed on this part of the track only between the 1st of March and the 30th of November. Beyond the Kenepuru Saddle the track crosses some privately owned land, and track passes are required to walk or bike the next few sections of the track.

Further track information

Contact John and Judy Hellstrom

Map | Transport | How to get here

History of the Ship Cove to Punga Cove section of the Queen Charlotte Track

The discovery of gold near Cape Jackson and antimony in Resolution Bay and Endeavour Inlet created the need for an all weather bridal track connecting the two bays. This was built in the 1880s and some sections of the track, particularly the rock cuts in Tawa Bay, were dug by Cornish miners from Endeavour Inlet. After the mining failed in the 1890s the eastern side of Endeavour Inlet was also cleared for farming and the track continued to be used by the farmers who had acquired leaseholds from the broken-up Ravenscliffe Run. By the 1950s farming had ended in most of the higher and poorer country and the track fell into disuse. Between 1960 and 1980 the track over the Tawa Saddle was impassable due to slips and dense stands of gorse and the track from Resolution Bay to Ship Cove was kept open only by the efforts of the owners of the resort in Resolution Bay. The track to Endeavour Inlet was reopened, in part by the efforts of students from Outward Bound at Anakiwa, and maintained for several years by local residents until DOC took over responsibility for it about 1990.

Using Format