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QCT - Anakiwa to Te Mahia , Marlborough

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QCT - Anakiwa to Te Mahia Beginner - Intermediate

Submitted by James Crockett

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

3:30 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:45 (Fast)



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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!

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Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 15%

Moderate Single Track: 55%

Easy Single Track: 15%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Gravel Road: 5%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Drive to the end of Anakiwa Road, You will see the shelter at the start of the track with information on the Queen Charlotte Track.
    You can purchase a day pass here ($10) which is recommended!!! I have never been stopped to have my pass checked but it goes towards track upkeep so worth the small fee. Eftpos machine available. http://www.qctrack.co.nz/track-info/qctlc-pass/

    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



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    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.

  • Post run indulgence

    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)

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