The Queen Charlotte Track has missed out on the honour of officially being recognised as a Great Walk.
Marlborough’s iconic track was shortlisted out of around 30 tracks to make the final three.
But it fell at the last hurdle as Hump Ridge Track in Southland took top honours.
Chair of the Queen Charlotte Track Inc, Rob Burn says the track is still “special”.
“The process of looking at the track subjectively has reinforced to us all what is special about the track. We still believe it is a great walk, for now with a little ‘g’.
Rob has not ruled out another future bid to gain the special status.
The Queen Charlotte Track has been welcoming walkers and bikers for 25 years.
It was formed in 1983 and is managed through a partnership between DOC, Marlborough District Council and private landowners who work together as the Queen Charlotte Track Stakeholder Management Group.
While not an official winner, the official marketing collective for the Track says that Marlborough is still immensely proud of the iconic regional track.
“We will be lined up ready for another crack at gaining DOC endorsement of the Queen Charlotte Track as a Great Walk next time the opportunity comes up,” says Rob.
The Queen Charlotte Track (QCT) is already nationally recognised as a Great Ride on the Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Between 10,000 and15,000 people walk or bike the Queen Charlotte Track each year.
Destination Marlborough general manager Jacqui Lloyd is full of praise for the operators who make the track such a sort after attraction.
“Visitors are already coming from around the world to walk and bike the Queen Charlotte Track,”
“We are confident that the recognition of the track will continue to grow, and visitor numbers will increase,” she says.
Te Paki Coastal Track (Te Rerenga Wairua/Cape Reinga in Northland was the other track shortlisted for the honour.