Marlborough Sounds

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You’ll notice the Marlborough Sounds’ myriad coves and inlets if you arrive in Picton by ferry (or by plane on a clear day); many of which harbour small resorts and backpackers’ hostels.

The best way to explore the Marlborough Sounds is to hike the Queen Charlotte Track, although the less energetic can drive or take a local ferry or water taxi to some of the remote backpackers’ resorts.

Local transport

Various hostels in Picton can arrange boat transport to Ship Cove with a pick up from Anakiwa for hikers walking the Queen Charlotte Track. Packs can be carried between accommodation spots by boat operators; this means that you only need to walk with a daypack, making the trek a little easier.

Cougar Line combine the ferry trip from Picton to Ship Cove with pack transfer to jetties along the track and pick up from Anakiwa when you have finished hiking the Track. Cougar Line cost $105 for the return trip including pack transfer.

It is also possible to use the boat connections to complete a chosen section of the track, but this usually costs more than the full return trip.


In addition to several campsites in the region, including seven on the Queen Charlotte Track, there are a number of excellent hostels, many of which are within easy access to the Track. The following hostels, with the exception of Hopewell and On The Track Lodge, are within walking distance from the Queen Charlotte Track.

There are no DOC huts on the Queen Charlotte Track.

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