Kepler Track
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  • David P
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Three days of glorious scenery
    My son and I had great weather (unusual?) for a three day trip. One night in Luxmore Hut and one night at Moturau Hut; both huts were clean yet full of trampers. The views from above treeline were magnificent, and the trek through the jungly lower elevation was spectacular as well.
    Visited February 2023
    Written March 8, 2023
  • Tom B
    64 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Day trip
    A friend and I did the hike from Brod Bay to the Luxmore Hut. We took the 8:30AM water taxi across the lake and started hiking. As many reviews state - it is pretty much all up hill to get to the Luxmore hut. We had planned to go to the summit but it was windy and rainy so we hiked back down. Highly recommend takinig the water taxi - take it early and make sure you are back by 4:30PM
    Visited February 2023
    Written March 12, 2023
  • 123Alison456
    Cromwell, New Zealand16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loved every second of it
    Absolutely incredible trip 3 nights and 4 days. The weather made it challenging with 75-85km winds and rain that stung from Luxmore Hut to Irisburn but it added to the trip. You just have to be prepared for all weather. Loved every second of it and would do it again
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 7, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Superwoman888
Auckland Central, New Zealand340 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bright77
Auckland, New Zealand6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Couples
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael T
Formby, UK1,154 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

T R
Asheville, NC66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

meowmeowlam
Hong Kong, China203 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Kepler track is one of the Great Walk in NZ. And there’re 3 reasons that I recommend this to be your first track among the 10.

1. It’s location is wonderful. You can start at the Te Anau town centre along the lake side, one direction as the track is circular or you can take day track for sections. No matter what, it’s only within an hour drive to the starting point of sections.

2. The view is marvellous. You can see the lake view (lake of Te Anau, the beaches, the forest, the summit, swing bridge and river....etc. along different sections of the trail.

3. The facilities is great. There are tables and chairs for picnic, water tank and toilet at different spots as well. And the marking is easy to be spotted.

Highly recommended this trail for you if you enjoy hiking, photography or outdoor activities.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom B
Minneapolis, MN64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
A friend and I did the hike from Brod Bay to the Luxmore Hut. We took the 8:30AM water taxi across the lake and started hiking. As many reviews state - it is pretty much all up hill to get to the Luxmore hut. We had planned to go to the summit but it was windy and rainy so we hiked back down.
Highly recommend takinig the water taxi - take it early and make sure you are back by 4:30PM
Written March 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

422iana
Dunedin, New Zealand3,123 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Family
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carly06
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Amazing experience hiking this trail, well sign posted, huts were clean and tidy warden was lovely and the experience was amazing. We stayed 2 nights luxmore and iris burn was enough and gave us plenty of time. We hiked the last day to rainbow reach to catch the shuttle at 4 pm to take us back to town highly recommend
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caitlin M
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

whattosay
Wanaka, New Zealand859 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
I did this track over three days. I was lucky to have a block of superb weather, but that's more unusual than normal in Fiordland. I caught a 1pm water taxi from Te Anau to Brod Bay - if you want to get a later taxi (normally they only leave in the morning), do ring to ask whether or not there is one going. Or if there's a group of you they will likely make a special trip for you. Anyway, 1pm was a good time to leave for me. Beautiful forest most of the way, the track is a steady but not a steep climb. DoC estimates 4.5 hours walking time from Brod Bay to the hut. I was climbing slowly (slow walker), and had about 15 minutes of stops, and it only took me 2.45 hours. you'd have to be stopping a lot and for a long time to take 4.5 hours!

Luxmore Hut is a good hut, the nicest of the three on the track. Don't forget your ear plugs, you will need them. It's high enough that mosquitos and sandflies aren't really an issue so the bedroom windows were left wide open over night which was nice (it was a warm night). I enjoyed the warden's nature walk in the evening. Informative.

The trek from Luxmore to Iris Burn is incredibly scenic. Panoramic the whole way. This section was long and slow for me, i took 6 hours 50 minutes, with the side trip up Mt Luxmore. But i thoroughly enjoyed it. I have issues with my knee going downhill so the trip down the zig zags to the valley floor was very slow, but I managed it without my knee blowing. We were fortunate to have virtually no wind in the saddle, other than the side trip up Mt Luxmore where it was blowing a gale.

Iris Burn to Rainbow reach was very pleasant, through forest the whole way and for the most part fairly flat. I was worried about meeting my shuttle and uncertain how long it would take so i didn't stop much on the section to Moturau Hut. I needn't have worried - DoC said it would take 5-6 hours and it took me 4.25. I could have stopped a lot more than i did and still made it in plenty of time. I don't know how they decide their time estimates. Moturau Hut is a lovely spot by the beach and the remaining trip to Rainbow Reach was 1.5 hours, as advised.
Written February 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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