Kepler Track | New Zealand, 2010

Distance :  37.3 miles (60 km)img_2408

Avg. Time :  3 days

Start / Finish :

  • Te Anau
  • No transport required. Simply walk 4.5km out of town to the trailhead.

Season :  October – April.

Maps / Info :

  • As with all the Great Walks, the Kepler is a proverbial highway of a trail, upon which it would be very difficult to lose your way.
  • Check the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) website for up-to-date information and a basic map of the track: www.doc.govt.nz.
  • Lonely Planet’s Tramping in New Zealand guidebook has trekking notes and a basic map of the walk.
  • All supplies can be purchased in Te Anau.

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Route / Conditions :

  • The ridge section between Mt. Luxmore hut and Hanging Valley shelter is the scenic highlight.
  • The short side-trip to the summit of Mt. Luxmore (20 minutes) is worthwhile, offering a spectacular 360 degree panorama in fine weather.
  • Despite the relatively mellow nature of the trail, the Kepler is nonetheless an Alpine crossing and hikers should pack accordingly.
  • Drinking water is available at the huts.
  • If you want to avoid the crowds, consider hiking very early in the mornings or late in the afternoons.

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Sleeping :

  • Huts or camping. Both need to be booked in advance.
  • Being a designated Great Walk, the Kepler is a very popular trail and attracts people of all levels of experience and fitness. As a result, the huts are often quite full. Bring a tent if you want some privacy.
  • Lots of sandflies if camping at Iris Burn.
  • Not long past Moturau hut, there is a side trail leading to Shallow Bay hut, a smaller (only six beds), cheaper accommodation option. Camping also possible.  No bookings required.
  • All water at Shallow Bay should be treated or purified. Alternatively, load up at Moturau Hut, which is just 20-30 minutes away.

Overview :

  • The Kepler is the most accessible of the Great Walks, allowing walkers to start and finish in Te Anau without any of the usual associated transport costs.
  • As mentioned above, the ridge section after Mt. Luxmore boasts beautiful alpine scenery. The second half of the trail is virtually all through Beech and Podocarp forests.

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