Other activities on Queen Charlotte Track

Bird watching

Bellbird and tui. Photo: J.L. Craig.
Bellbird and tui

Listen and watch for forest birds as you walk along the track; mimic the bellbird or tui and you may well be rewarded with an answering call. Stir up the leaf litter and you may attract a darting piwakawaka or fantail or a South Island robin, looking to feast on insects of the forest floor. In summer, you may occasionally hear the calls of the long-tailed and shining cuckoo, while twilight stimulates the rasping calls of weka and the haunting cry of ruru, the morepork.

Where the track follows the shoreline, take time fossicking in the rocky strip between land and sea, especially at low tide. Enriched by twice-daily tides, the mud and silt of Endeavour Inlet and Big Bay estuaries are rich feeding grounds for white-faced herons, oystercatchers and kingfishers. Sitting patiently near the shore proves a worthwhile experience for watching wildlife. You may see various species of shag searching for food or sitting, statue-like, on a rock, drying their feathers before flying off or diving for more food.

Occasionally, gannets are seen hurtling into the water to catch unsuspecting fish. Where fish are particularly plentiful, flocks of swooping terns and shearwaters may join in the fishing. Bottlenose dolphins are regular visitors to the Sound and you may be lucky enough to see them from the track frolicking and cruising out from the shoreline.

Dog walking

  • You can walk your dog between Anakiwa and Davies Bay only. A permit is required - contact the local DOC office.
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
  • Dogs are not permitted elsewhere on the Queen Charlotte Track or on any of the walking and tramping tracks off it.
  • Landowners adjacent to the track and hunters using it for access to hunting areas can apply for a dog permit for limited dog access on other parts of the track.

Dog access in the Marlborough Sounds


Waitohi / Picton Office
Phone:      +64 3 520 3002
Email:   picton@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

Related link

Hunting at Ship Cove


Find out more


Learn more

Nelson/Marlborough track update

Stop the spread of didymo
Check, Clean, Dry
all items before entering, and when moving between, waterways.


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Marlborough places


For more information about the Queen Charlotte Track, contact:

Waitohi / Picton Office
Phone:      +64 3 520 3002
Email:   picton@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 546 9339
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details