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Queen Charlotte Track. Starting northwest of Picton, the Queen Charlotte Track stretches 67 km (42 mi) south to north, playing hide-and-seek with the Marlborough Sounds along the way. Hike through lush native forests, stopping to swim or take photos along the way. Unlike other tracks, there are no Department of Conservation huts to stay in, just a few camping areas. Other accommodations are on the walk, however, from backpacking options to lodges, resorts, and homestays. Boats such as the Cougar Line can drop you at various places for one- to four-day walks (guided or unguided), or you can kayak or bike parts of it. They can also arrange for your packs to be carried between overnight stops.
Though it's relatively easy to access, the track shouldn't be taken lightly. It has steep inclines and long drop-offs, and the weather can be unpredictable. In particular, on Day 3, if you're walking north to south, a 22-km (14-mi) stretch can test even a strong hiker's endurance in bad weather.
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