Kepler Track

Kepler Track, Te Anau: Address, Phone Number, Kepler Track Reviews: 5/5

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508 reviews
Very good

Stephen & Sue
Canberra, Australia2,052 contributions
Having already done a few big walks, we needed to take a break, and decided to just do a small section of the Kepler Track - and it was simply wonderful.
We took the Kepler Water Taxi across the lake from directly in front of the visitor centre, then walked back to town in about 3 hours.
The first 90 minutes or so is stunning. It's flat, sheltered from the wind, and surrounded by tree ferns, wonderful trees and many streams. At all times the lake is in view, but the track is sheltered from it.
I'd recommend organising a bus or tax from the Control Gates, as the rest of the walk from here back to town is awful - exposed, few trees, and nothing to see but the lake from time to time.
The other, better option for a day walk is to turn right before the control gates and follow the river to the track head at Rainbow Reach, which makes this a 4-6 hour , with a bus or taxi pick up, but much, much better scenery.
In short, if you're not up to a 3 day trek, or an all day hike up a mountain, or if you missed out on a booking, this is a very easy way to expeience a short section of this stunning track, and all it costs is $25 for the water taxi, plus whatever transport you pay for the pick up (free if you complete the walk back to Te Anau).
Written January 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

g m
Bristol, UK200 contributions
We completed the section of the walk from Te Anau up to the Luxmore Hut and back (approx 27.5km). The DOC signs suggest 8-10 hours for the walk but with good weather and only carrying day bags we managed to complete it in about 6hrs 45m.

The first part is along the shoreline of Lake Te Anau through the forest and is flat. From Brod Bay onwards, it is all uphill! For two thirds you walk in a forest, then you emerge onto quite an exposed area where the terrain levels out somewhat.

The forest is teeming with bird life, we saw fantails and all manner of other small birds plus had a very close encounter with a Kea which hopped straight towards us!

I would thoroughly recommend this walk although my partner was less impressed (mainly due to the large amount of uphill!). For the bird life it is totally worth it.

There are toilets available at the start of the walk, at Brod Bay and at Luxmore Hut, which also has other facilities although I think they may only be used by people who have paid to stay.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Auckland Central, New Zealand325 contributions
Joined a local tramping club to hike the Kepler on a 4 day trip.

Weather was cold on Day 1 to Luxmore Hut and colder with strong winds, drizzle of snow and sleet at start of Day 2 to Iris Burn Hut, improving as day went on.

Good weather on Day 3 to Moturau Hut and on Day 4 to end of track at Control Gate.

Mix of individual bunks and shared bunks in all the huts. Best hut of the three was Luxmore Hut.

Sandflies were bearable at IB Hut and M Hut. Take insect repellant.

No electrical outlets at any of the huts so need to carry a power bank for charging phone.

Require a head torch for lighting in the bunk rooms and toilet, hut lighting and heating (from fireplace ) only in communal kitchen/dining.

No showers, indoor unisex flushing toilets with toilet paper, washbasins run cold water only.

Gas for cooking provided in hut, but no cooking utensils or cutlery,

NOTE - hut facilities not provided year round.

No drying room as such but there is a fireplace in the kitchen/dining area.

Ranger present at each hut over summer walking season only.

Views from the track are stunning especially in alpine section. Delightful alpine flora, cool strolling through the beech forests, podocarps and ferns. Relaxing walk beside lake and river.

Day 2 easily the best but can be the worst day because long downhill section was tough going on the knees. Take plenty of water especially in hot weather.

Be prepared and enjoy!
Written February 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Auckland, New Zealand6 contributions
Went with my partner, he has done a couple
Before but it was my first time. We
Would consider ourselves to have fair to moderate fitness. We walked the full Kepler track (carpark/control gate to carpark/control
Gate. From start at 8am to Luxmore hut it took us 5 hours 15 which included photo stops/snack/toilet break). You spend most of this day climbing. Arrived at 1:15pm which allowed us to choose a bed in the smaller bunk room (approx 20 spaces).
Luxmore hut is the nicest out of the 3 huts
With amazing views at the top.
10 minute walk from the hut is the caves so head
torches are essential.
Day 2 you are spending half the day climbing and the rest of it descending down. It took us 6 hours 15 minutes that included the walk up to Mount Luxmore summit (stop at the 2 shelters and multiple stops for photos).
If you have bad knees, take voltaren pills
and take walking poles (this will help but it is still
a tough day on the legs).
Once you arrive at Iris Burn hut, take the ice cold dip in the river (really helps the legs and
Refreshes yourself after a hard day).
Day 3 is relatively a flat walk apart from one or two small climbs (you spend all of this walk Walking through the bush). This section took us 4 hours 30 minutes including photo stops and a snack break at the halfway point shelter.
Day 4 we decided to walk out to the control gates and we are glad we did as we found the last section a nice walk through the bush and along the lake to the control gates.
This part took us 1 hour 30 minutes to Rainbow Reach where we stopped for 10 minutes. Then continued to the end for another 2 hours 15 minutes to the control gates.
Amazing trip, all huts have gas cookers, flushing toilets with toilet paper/dishwasher liquid/cloth (just need dish wash towel to dry your dishes).
Take ear plugs, head torches.
Although we were incredibly lucky with the weather we recommend you take wet weather gear/ pack liner and external pack liner.

Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wellington, New Zealand397 contributions
We just completed this track a few days ago, over three days. Having done Routeburn as well we thought this was as good scenery, just a bit more challenging.

We went from control gate to rainbow reach, staying at Luxmore hut and the Iris burn hut. Both huts were excellent. Luxemore has a great location that came with an amazing view, overlooking lake Te Anau. We chose the small bunk room that had 14 beds as it offered great view and was warmer. Flushing toilets are just inside the hut which was great. Day one took us 4 hours and 15 min with a few stops along the way. As we arrived at the hut just after 2, we did the cave and thought it was good. Temperature dropped to zero that night, so definitely bring a couple more layers.

Day 2 was, as everyone has mentioned, harder, but definitely our favourite. A couple of more climbs but there were so many great viewing points. We went up the summit although it was clouded over. The ridge line was beautiful- followed by over an hour of going down which was the most tricky bit, so the sight of iris burn hut was quite a relief. Again it took us about 4 hours although we needed to rest longer afterwards. We did go to the waterfall too, but didn’t stay long because of the sandflies. The hut is again very high standard, clean (no sandflies inside) and with inside flushing toilets. We chose the upstairs bunk room as it was warmer and you got some single bunks. The ranger’s talk about Kepler Challenge and keas were interesting. A kea visited during her talk and it was entertaining to see everyone rushed out to collect their belongings. This is also the best hut for kiwi encounters and we did hear a male kiwi calling that night. If you get a clear night, definitely look up to see the amazing stars! It’s like nothing we’ve seen before.

Day 3 was longest with 22.2k and it took us 6 hours to rainbow reach, to be picked up by Tracknet. They were really good by the way - a very well run friendly service.

All in all a very good great walk, not easy but not too hard either. I wore hiking shoes (not boots) and it was fine. We did see two couples that walked the same distance in two days because they couldn’t secure a booking for luxemore. Quite impressed but I think three days would make it much more enjoyable.
Written February 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dunedin, New Zealand3,072 contributions
Second year taking students through this Great Walk. We usually drop a van at Rainbows Reach and leave one at the control gates. The walk from the Control Gates to Rainbows Reach went quickly, but is 9.5km. We got in the hur about 8 pm after the drive from Dunedin and second day in brilliant weather went to Iris Burn. Students went swimming near the waterfall, with some good points to jump off. They did a night walk and saw two Kiwis that walked stright passed them. The next day 130km winds and snow to 1200m. Wardens strongly recomended not going over and we listened and had to tramp back to Rainbows Reach. Some from Luxmore came over and told Wardens that they were holding on for dear life! Listen when you are given advice in the NZ outdoors, people die. We got back to Rainbows Reach but needed to get back the 9.5 km to the Control Gates. We called a taxi getting a signal on the bridge and they were there in 20 mins to take the drivers to the vans. The number on the board seems to be wrong, so you will need to look up the taxi number.
Written December 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Asheville, NC66 contributions
We hiked on the Kepler Track from Te anau twice. First time we took water taxi across lake to Broad Bay, hiked too Bushline, then down and along lake to car park - close to 18 km total over 6 hrs. The trail is in great shape (not boldering) and well used; there are a few stairsteps up to Bushline. The initial hiking from Broad Bay was through a wonderful rainforest - ferns and moss everywhere. Great views after emerging from the trees at Bushline. Easy walk along the lake. A Canadian couple offered us a ride back to town, avoiding another hour of walking. Second hike started from Rainbow Reach car park (about 10 km out of Te anau toward Manapouri) and was a 12 km RT to Moturau Hut. Nice hike often along the river, sometimes in rainforest, with great lunch spot at the Hut viewing the lake.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rowena L
Auckland Central, New Zealand581 contributions
We started at Te Anau and walked anti clockwise ( the best direction) which is up( steep after leaving the lakeside at Brod Bay) through pristine bush in switch backs past the tree line to Luxmore hut. This hut has stunning out of this world views over Te Anau to the alps and back to Te Anau. The hut is big with good cooking facilities and lots of rooms.The toilets are close to the sleeping quarters and inside. The hut talked warned us about leaving packs or gear outside as the keas are cheeky.
The second day was a big day , up to Mount Luxmore and over the ridges to Iris Burn.The views are outstanding.I felt on top of the world.We had fantastic weather and could see for miles. The wind was about 50 knots , so manageable. The track down from the ridge to iris Burn was switchbacks through bush but tricky underfoot.We had no issues ( falls!) and got to the hut by dark.Everyone else was there. Iris Burn is a smaller hut and by the bush looking out to a clearing. Easier day to Moturau on lake Manapouri. Great hut talk by Phil about the history of the area and in particular the breeding program for kiwis and the nuisance of stoats. Great face of DOC. Not as many sandflies as expected. Just a wash in the lake but others swam. Next day we walked back to the control gates .
You need to be young or fit. You have to carry all your gear and rubbish. The huts have water, toilet paper, gas stoves, washing up liquid. We sterilised the water but not sure that it was necessary. Hint - don't fill up water container with Te Anau water or you will taste the chlorine the whole trip.
This was my first great walk and I am keen for more. After all we have the packs, sleeping bags, all the clothes, all the camping gear, and the mountains and walks are as good as Europe - and closer to home
Written March 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael T
Formby, UK1,134 contributions
We were staying in Te Anau and wanted to do a 2 hour walk. A helpful lady in the Fiordlands Visitor Centre suggested driving to the Rainbow Reach car park and walking towards the wetlands and back. We started by crossing a swing bridge and then ascended through some thick ancient woodland. The beauty of the route was the variety of ferns, mosses, lichens and fungi on display. It really was a delightful experience. After just over an hour we reached the wetlands where a pontoon took you across the marshy margin to the lake's edge. On the way we met a very friendly robin and two male tomtits. It was a fascinating walk.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Caitlin M
7 contributions
Never done the full kepler, but we did a short afternoon walk to Brod bay and back takes about 3 hours round trip at a leisurely pace. The track is beautiful and varied with lots of birds, and very easy, almost completely flat. I particularly recommend taking some of the little side tracks to sheltered beaches along the way, we stopped at a couple of these to see the plants and views, and had a nice swim too.
Written January 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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