Last Updated: 26th Apr 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Cove to Cove

Picton, Marlborough

Submitted by Mal Law

Last Updated: 26th Apr 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 34 ?

Gnarl Factor: 27 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







From Ship Cove the trail goes straight into the biggest climb of the day to a saddle and lookout at 240m altitude. A long descent back to almost sea level is then followed by a second well-graded climb to over 200m again. From this second saddle there are great views out across Endeavour Inlet and the sharp-of-eye may be able to spot Punga Cove, the end of the run that is much further away than the straight line distance suggests.
From here the trail descends gently back to sea level, passing a number of beaches before skirting Furneaux Lodge. The rest of the way it undulates, first around the head of Endeavour Inlet and then around Big Bay. About 2kms from the end bear left following signs to Punga Cove which takes you through the DoC campsite en route to this idyllic lodge. Head for the wharf, grab a beer or a coffee and a snack from the cafe there, and enjoy the serenity of the Sounds while you wait for your return water taxi to pick you up.

Captain Cook's Monument is at Ship Cove, marking the spot where Cook first landed in 1770 and again on four subsequent occasions during his first and second voyages to New Zealand.
This route take in the northernmost part of the Queen Charlotte Track and features abundant birdlife, in particular inquisitive weka that will be keen to check out your trail food supplies if you stop for a break.

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.

Water taxi is the only option for accessing and leaving this run. Check times with but the schedule generally leaves you with plenty of time to complete the run at a leisurely pace.

30 km

60 minutes




Well signposted the whole way but double check with the map at each junction you pass just to be sure.


Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

There are several small clean side creeks that cross the track but these cannot be relied on after a spell of dry weather. Otherwise duck into Furneaux Lodge for a top up.

The climate is relatively mild and most of the route is under bush canopy so exposure isn't a major factor. That said it still pays to carry the basics in case of injury or unforeseen delays.

Parts of the trail can get very muddy after heavy rain.

Boatshed Cafe
Punga Cove
Idyllic setting, good selection of post-run beers, snacks and light meals. Few better places to enjoy these than on their deck (which is part of the wharf) on a sunny day

Trail Legend


Alicia Paulsen

has completed Cove to Cove once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Lovely track, and the boat ride out is pretty cool too. Set up camp for the night and then another two days on the trail.

Lauren Mai Anderson

April 25, 2022

Great Trail, stunning scenery, very runnable with plenty of options to stop and enjoy the view, go for a dip and take pictures
Punga Cove is a great spot to chill out and wait for the boat at the end. Pizza, coffee, ice cream and a range of craft beers to go with the view

Chrissi Faber

October 26, 2021

Great views and cafe at end is an oasis!

Simon Clendon

November 24, 2020

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

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