Archives For Queen Charlotte

Manaaki-Trails-logo_colour-taglineOver the next month we’re going to be introducing you to the Manaaki Trails – a new set of guided walks in some of New Zealand’s most special places.

The Manaaki Trails take you through beautiful and culturally important spots in New Zealand, but without the hassles of traditional tramping/hiking. No more heavy packs, soggy maps or cold baked beans for dinner – the Manaaki Trails include expert guides, full catering and cosy accommodation. They’re a great option if you’re looking for an outdoors adventure but enjoy a glass of wine and a hot shower at the end of the day.

Manaaki Trails also let you get to know New Zealand just that bit better, with local guides sharing their knowledge with you along the track. The trails are underpinned by the traditional Maori value of Manaaki, which means to support, take care of and give hospitality to visitors.

Maori values – Manaaki


We’ll be sharing more about Manaaki Trails over the coming weeks, but today we thought we’d introduce you to the four places that currently operate Manaaki Trails:

Queen Charlotte Track – Marlborough

Enjoy unsurpassed views of the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds, comfortable accommodation, and gourmet cuisine, on the spectacular Queen Charlotte Track in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds.

Hollyford Track – Fiordland National Park

Follow the Hollyford River, from the mountains to the sea, while enjoying first-rate cuisine, knowledgeable guides, personal service and comfortable private lodges.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track – Fiordland

This 3 day loop takes you along the south coast of New Zealand up to the sub alpine Hump Ridge zone, over historic viaducts in the heart of native forest, and home to comfortable back-country lodges.

Rangitoto Motutapu Haerenga – Auckland

Discover the cultural and spiritual significance that has shaped the ancient landscape of Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands on a one day guided walk.

More information about the Manaaki Trails can be found on the DOC website.

By Chrissy Wickes, Biodiversity Ranger, Te Anau

My partner, our child and I recently biked the Queen Charlotte Track.

Chrissy and her family by the DOC Queen Charlotte Track sign.

Setting out on the Queen Charlotte Track

It was a challenging but fun adventure with our two and a half year old son Shannon. It was obvious that Shannon enjoyed the camping experience and being in the bush.

Chrissy's son Shannon in his chariot.

Shannon in his chariot

The Queen Charlotte track was good enough for Shannon’s chariot to be attached to our bikes and we only had to push the chariot for around one tenth of the track. The rest of the track is ridable if you are fit, which luckily my partner is and he was even able to pull the chariot up some small sharp steep hills that I had to walk.

Chrissy's partner and son biking along the track.

Along the track

We took it pretty slow along the track to make it more comfy over the more rough terrain. Some sections were gorgeous and smooth, others were rocky and a bit rooty.

Chrissy and her son on the Queen Charlotte Track.

A spot of dancing?

We chose to take the road from Cowshed Bay to Mistletoe turnoff just to avoid a big hill that we would have most likely just pushed up rather than ride. This was a great decision!

Shannon being pushed along the track on the bike.

Give me a push

We got all our gear water taxied to our next camp spot which was so great. We met some lovely people on the way. The tops were gorgeous with some stunning views of the sounds.

Stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds.

Stunning views

I would recommend this adventure only in really good weather which we were lucky to have. The clay surface of this track would mean that a bit of rain could make it quite yucky!

A view along the Queen Charlotte Track.

How about that view?

Experience the Queen Charlotte Track

In the heart of the Marlborough Sounds, the Queen Charlotte Track stretches 71 km.The track is suitable for both walkers and mountain bike riders, taking 3-5 days to complete walking, or 2-3 days for mountain bikers. You can find more information on the DOC website.