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“Wish we had more time”
Review of Kepler Track

Kepler Track
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US$743.64*
and up
Fiordland Adventure Day Trip
Ranked #5 of 52 things to do in Te Anau
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We walked just 14 kilometres of the Keplar early one winter morning. For two hours it was just us and the distant sounds of the occasional cow. Was like walking through a fair glen...can't wait to get back and do more.

2  Thank 228JulieS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 July 2014

A challenging yet very doable real adventure into the fiordlands. I've been to NZ many times but only did the Kepler for the first time this year. I can't believe it took me so long to do it. The track has everything: you get to visit caves, summit mighty Mt Luxmore, walk along the top of spectacular steep-sided ridgelines and discovery pristine remote river valleys. The terrain was so much more varied than I was expecting and the mix of high alpine and river valley walking just right. A must do trek/tramp in NZ.

6  Thank Clinton K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Leave enough time for this trek. Bring enough water and warm clothing especially in winter. Water proof hiking boots may be useful as areas can get quite muddy and wet after the rain.

Thank Garden V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We have done many of the great walks over the last few years, but somehow had overlooked the Kepler. We took 4 days, walked the whole circuit, counter-clockwise and thoroughly enjoyed it.

We would certainly do it again, and agree with the other comments about walking clockwise, perhaps being easier on the knees.

The ridgeline walk on the second day was spectacular. The way the rangers managed the groups with their evening 'chat' was impressive, and the design of the huts meant that there were smaller rooms for sleeping rather than one large dormitory, so less problems with snorers. The huts were full, and it was mainly Europeans doing the walk, so if you want to meet New Zealanders, choose less well known walks, or avoid the busy season.

3  Thank Capetribber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 May 2014

My son (nine years old) and I hiked the 60 kilometre circuit over four days in April 2014. What an amazing time! I'm relatively fit, and because I was walking with my son and going at a slower pace than I'd normally walk, I didn't find the terrain too challenging. My son had what we called 'the daily whinge' (usually when we were walking uphill) but we simply took our time and rested whenever my son called for it. Yummy snacks (including some chocolate) helped a lot.

Day one started with a pleasant walk through forest along the shore of Lake Te Anau. It was worth stopping at Brod Bay for a snack/water break before starting the climb. There is a fair chunk of uphill on day one, but the track offers some lovely views back to Lake Te Anau and it was a bit of a milestone popping out above the tree line.Luxmore Hut isn't too far once you've made it this far. Definitely explore the caves near the hut and if the ranger offers a nature walk, take advantage of it if you'd like to learn a bit about local plants and conservation activities in the area.

I enjoyed day two (Luxmore to Iris Burn Hut) the most - the landscape is breathtaking. I think we were quite lucky to get low cloud hanging in the valleys, so it really felt like we were on top of the world with the clouds below us. The short side track up Mount Luxmore provides possibly even better views! The DOC doesn't recommended the alpine sections of track for children under 10, however if your child has some good hiking experience, is confident and strong, I don't think there would be any problems for children maybe 8 to ten years old. At one point the cloud closed in, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped, however full waterproofs and ski gloves made sure we were warm and dry. Be ready for a lot of downhill to reach Iris Burn Hut - there are quite a few steps and I read somewhere that there are 97 switchbacks on one section of track alone!

Days three is much more steady - short sections of uphill, but mostly pretty flat. If you are walking with kids there are some cool things to make the walking more fun - trying to find as many types/colours of mushroom and fungus as possible (we saw pink, red, purple, white black, brown, yellow, etc), exploring spots by the water (skimming rocks and rock hopping, etc), playing games such as being the first to spot the numbered traps along the way, or finding a branch/stick so they can pretend they're a ninja or something (this is what my son did)! Motarau Hut is right by Lake Manapouri and it's lovely being able to walk (or swim) at the beach and chill out after a good days walking.

Day four is again pretty steady, short sections of uphill but mostly pretty flat. Take the time to stop at the wetlands - if you get a clear, calm day you can see great reflections in the water, and you can also look up to see where you came from a couple of days earlier. Many hikers stop at Rainbow Reach, however we kept going to complete the circuit. The walk along the Waiau River is so pretty, and a great end to the walk.

Huts are fine - gas for cooking provided (I think only during the 'summer' season), there are basic mattresses to sleep on (take earplugs if you're not a heavy sleeper - sharing close sleeping quarters with a whole bunch of people can be interesting), flush toilets and cold running water. Common rooms have solar lighting for some time in the evening and in the morning (again possibly only in the 'summer' season).

The walk itself is really gorgeous, but you're most likely to meet some great people as well. Evenings in the huts were laid back and a lot of fun. My son and I have some great memories of these evenings - teaching a Japanese guy how to play Uno, sharing food with fellow hikers (one man and his son even made cheesecake for everyone), playing frisbee at Motarau Hut, and hearing travel stories from people from around the world. We're looking forward to our next Great Hike!

10  Thank Bec-Max13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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