Last Updated: 12th Jun 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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QCT - Anakiwa to Te Mahia

Havelock, Marlborough

Submitted by James Crockett

Last Updated: 12th Jun 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 28 ?

Gnarl Factor: 44 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush



Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







This run takes you along part of the iconic Queen Charlotte Track in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. It begins at the Anakiwa end, a short drive from either Picton or Havelock.
Running through serene native bush, the first 3km is relatively light undulation before dropping down to Davies Bay where camping and swimming is an option.
From here it gets a bit more interesting as the next 3.5km is a steady gradual climb of about 185m and offers some of the best views along the trail, overlooking the Sounds.
The trail then gradually descends (with a few more short sharp climbs) until you reach the turn around point at Onahau Road.
From here you have access to Te Mahia, Mistletoe Bay or Waterfall Bay. All great spots for a mid-run snack/swim, just a short walk from the road with directions well signed.
To get back to Anakiwa, (this is an out and back) run in reverse, you have gradual undulating climb up to the highest point again. Then followed by a steady descent back in to Davies Bay and the final few smaller hills back to Anakiwa.
I haven't been too descriptive with this write up as it would not do the scenery justice, quite simply its a stunning trail to run and I recommend bringing a camera!

Anakiwa is the home of Outward Bound. A well known outdoor education provider specialising in multi-day courses that push peoples boundaries and take them out of their comfort zones.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Plenty of parking at the entrance and along the road in if required. Toilets and free cold showers here as well.

31 km

35 minutes




Generally good.

Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Take plenty of water with you! There are showers and toilets at the car park.

Track can be muddy/slippery after heavy rains.

Some places are quite technical, have eaten dirt quite often having kicked a decent rock/tree root.

The Slip Inn
Havelock Marina, Havelock 7100
Great spot for a beer, food or to watch/laugh at people trying to reverse their boats down the ramp (which this place overlooks)

Trail Legend

Trish Thorne

Trish Thorne

has completed QCT - Anakiwa to Te Mahia 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Very runnable! Gorgeous views especially on a still morning. Great run for a beginner looking to branch out into something a bit bigger/longer.

Matt Halverson

November 18, 2023

We caught the boat to Ships Cove, then ran over 3 days. One night at Punga Cove (must go back there!), then Te Mahia. My mad running mate also ran the Picton Link trail to get the car for us, while we swam (quick dip) and drank coffees in Momorangi. Excellent fun trail!

Miriam Bartlett

January 7, 2020

Great track with stunning views. And a coffee cart at Anakiwa!

Richele McKenzie

December 26, 2019

Really enjoyable run along this part of the QCT. Beautiful views along Grove Arm. Im definately a novice trail runner, but thankfully was aware enough that the novice time provided as 2.5hours was well beyond my capabilities!!! I descended into and back out of Mistletoe Bay for a total of 25kms.

Sarita Gargiulo-Welch

December 4, 2018

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