Queen Charlotte Track  LbNA # 8137

Placed DateMar 27 2004
CountyOther International
LocationPicton, South Island, New Zealand, INT
Found By 55 steps
Last Found May 30 2009
Hike Distance?

NOTE: Letterbox reported alive & well on May 30/09.


Located at the top of New Zealand’s scenic South Island, the Queen Charlotte Track is easily accessible by road, rail or air from the South Island and from the North Island by air or ferry from Wellington.

This year-round Track is one of nature’s wonderlands with stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds’ views and interesting, varied coastline. The basis of the Track consists of numerous bridle paths along which farm children used to ride their ponies to school.

The 71 km. Track is a pleasant 3 to 5 day walk for all ages, but day trips are also popular. With a wonderful year round climate, this Track can be enjoyed at any time. Although the Track can be walked in either direction, Ship Cove, which can be reached by boat in one hour from Picton, is the usual start. However, not being conformists, ‘Playmakers’ have placed this Letterbox near the opposite Anikiwa end of the Track in Davies Bay.

Along the Track, you will experience some of New Zealand’s finest native bush and birdlife. Flora in this sub-tropical area includes stands of ancient, untouched forest such as native beech, kamani and the giant rimu. There are also nikau palms and manuka and kanuka trees offering protection to a multitude of ferns, delicate orchids and emerging seedlings.

Birdlife includes the bellbird and tui with their liquid pure songs and the chattering, acrobatic sandfly-eating fantails. Also commonly seen are native woodpigeons, waxeyes, flightless wekas as well as diving gannets, shearwaters, oyster catchers, herons and a variety of shags.

Common fish in the Sounds include blue cod, gurnard, snapper and tarakihi all of which provide feed for the abundant New Zealand fur seals, dolphins and orca whales.

The Track has numerous lookouts into secluded bays and coves and spectacular panoramas of the hills and sea-flooded valleys.

Captain Cook first made the area, and Ship Cove in particular, known to the western world following his January, 1770 visit aboard the ship ‘Endeavour’. On this discovery visit, Captain Cook claimed British sovereignty by formally raising the flag on the summit of nearby Motuara Island.


Start in Picton (Ferry Terminal town) and follow the beautiful Queen Charlotte Drive, which runs from Picton to Havelock along the NE coast of New Zealand’s South Island, west toward Havelock. About 20 km. from Picton, shortly after you have passed through the tiny village of ‘The Grove’, you will see the DOC sign ‘Queen Charlotte Walkway, 4 km.’ Turn right here and go to the end of the road through the communities of Tirimoana and lastly Anakiwa to the parking lot 200 metres from the Queen Charlotte Track trail head.

Proceed along the Track for about 200 metres on a slight uphill ascent. The track will then level off for a short while before beginning a slight descent.

About 20 paces along the slight descent, watch for two sets of two crossed tree trucks each, which are the remains of trees that have fallen across the Track. The trunks of the trees have been sawn and discarded on the downhill side of the Track.

Behind the right hand set of crossed tree trunks hidden under a small piece of flagstone and another smaller rock is the ‘Queen Charlotte Track’ Letterbox. You will have to negotiate around the crossed tree trunks to the downhill side. Watch your footing.

Enjoy the palm trees!

If you reach a bridge at the end of the short descent, you have gone 40 paces too far.

We hope you enjoy the search, the hike and the beautiful area of the Marlborough Sounds.

Please contact us by email at peter@brill.ca to let us know you found this box and the condition it is in, plus any other comments you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Letterboxing!