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My mates and I have ridden the track annually for the last few years, this year most of us are on Specialized Levo E Bikes.

Queen Charlotte Track by E Bike 2024

For those of you who haven't heard of the Queen Charlotte Track, it is one of New Zealand's classic mountain bike rides or great walks. I prefer to think it is better to ride.
The Queen Charlotte Track runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s Queen Charlotte Sound. The track stretches from Ship Cove to Anakiwa – 70 kilometres (approximately 45 miles) of spectacular track passing through historic sites, secluded bays and lush coastal bush.
The terrain of the track is regarded as undulating with hills ranging from sea level to a maximum of 400 metres. Most of the track is wide (1 to 1.5 metres in width), and all major streams have been bridged. The surface, being mainly clay soil, is hard and firm in dry conditions but can often be slippery when wet.
For walkers, the track requires boots and a good level of fitness, and the 70 kilometre trip can be done in 3 – 5 days while the entire Queen Charlotte Track is open to mountain biking from March 1 to November 30 each year. The trip takes about 13 hours for walkers. You can find a map here:
My mates and I have ridden the track annually for the last few years, this year most of us are on Specialized Levo E Bikes. I counted how many times I have done the QC, its 6 times on manual bikes and now 7 times on E. I have got to admit its much easier on E. Age is catching our group up and we still want to enjoy what is a great adventure together!  I have been saying for ages that the range of a modern E Bike is far greater then what some people expect. I have been called many things when riding the E, for this trip I wanted to prove I could ride to Portage on one charge. Distance wise it is about 42kms and 1800m of climbing consisting of magnificent single track that has some damm decent climbs. When I was a skinny young fellow, I managed to ride almost all of the track but no way now hence the E Bike.
Our early morning start meant that we had to be on the boat ready to go at 7. The trip out to Ship Cove takes about an hour. Ship Cove is where Captain Cook beached the Endeavor to clean the barnacles off several times. It is an historical place and well worth a visit.
The track from Ships Cove has been upgraded a few years ago, its now an easy ride to the top of the first climb overlooking Resolution Bay. This year the Sounds to Sounds Brevet started at the same time as us. It was incredible to see a large number of fellow cyclists riding the track. Some were fast, some weren't spring chickens either. 
After about an hour of riding and no walking this year, we reach the top of Resolution Bay, the view is incredible! I often say that you could be anywhere in the world here, but it is in our back yard. From here the track starts off on the first of many magnification single track descents around the bays. Our goal is to hit Furneaux Lodge for a snack and coffee, we hoped that we may beat a few of the S to S riders there. Lots of mucking around taking in the amazing views meant that we got there later than we hoped. The girls at the lodge told us that they had made around 100 coffee's. The staff are always friendly and make a mean coffee!
I love hanging out at these places and enjoying the views.
From here the ride takes in the best of what the sounds has to offer, fantastic views, easy single track. We head off to our next stop Punca Cove for a bit of lunch. Riding with mates on this track is a great experience, even better on my Specialized Levo Comp with the 700wh battery. The Levo is an amazing bike that eats the track up with ease.
Good times with great mates. Yes, that is a mullet
From here the track gets step, from Kenapuru Saddle along the top to the shelter above Bay of Many coves are some really descent climbs. They aren't overly long but still a challenge. Not so much on the Specialized Levo Comp though. On the Levo you can set the assistance via the app Mission Control. For this trip I set the lowest setting at 20% assistance, mid range at 40% and max at 60%. To conserve battery I had it turned off for the flat sections, on the easier climbs 20% and for most climbs 40% except for a couple of nasty buggers- 60%. This year we had one of the few break downs ever. Kelvin's Levo rear hub pooped itself with 10kms to go. Yaz from Nomadic Cycles thought he could fix it with zip ties onto the spokes. No chance, lasted 3 pedal strokes, not Yaz's fault-great idea though. Kelvin got to push his bike up the hills and roll down them. 
The single track descent from above Portage to the top of Torea Saddle is world class, the leader of our group Grant aka Camp Dad had fitted a bloody annoying siren to his bike as always. This was to let walkers know so they didn't crap their pants when we surprised them. We did come across a lot of walkers this year and I hope they appreciated the wa woo siren. The track is smooth and flowing with a brilliant descent!
We had booked our accommodation at Portage Resort, we had a bad experience here before but had heard that the resort had been sold recently so decided to give it a go. The reception team greeted us warmly and handed over the keys to our units. The units were clean and well presented. The shower was awesome. We all head down to the bar(s), there is two. A previous year someone convinced me that a dip in the pool would be great. It was still warm out so why not. What an arse that guy Jim turned out to be! Flip it it was cold.
We made ourselves comfortable at one of the bars, beer was cold, staff very friendly. Looking good so far! As we sat there with a few more people around, more walkers started turning up, good. The talk around the table was about how one of the newbies another year had not had much sleep. He had roomed with Captain Kirk, bad move! About 3 am Nigel was heard to be yelling, how can one man snore and fart so much as he dragged his mattress outside! Nigel didn't make that mistake this year. 
The start to the next day was as exciting as the first. There were a few more fellow mountain bikers heading out with us. I know from experience that the climb from Torea Saddle to the top is tough. So tough that it is the one section that I can't ride all of it except I can now! On the Levo it was still tough on 60% but I rode it all, first time ever!! From there to the end of the track it is almost all easy downhill on the outstanding single tracks. The views again are incredible, the walkers are still friendly. Sooo good
I've got to be honest, I didn't ride this section this year. I got the boat back to Picton,  I have been unwell for a few months and the first day got the better of me but will tell the story from other years.
The group rode to Queen Charlotte Tavern for lunch, not a bad spot! Lots of laughs and then off on the excellent Linkwater Walkway. 
The Linkwater section is an impressive project by the local community that follows the Queen Charlotte Drive but either above or below the road. It's old school single track that flows really well.
We plan on riding the Queen Charlotte again in 2025, maybe with less people this time. What ever we do, it will be awesome!
Hmmm, table fell over, with James and I on the receiving end.
Great trip with awesome mates
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