- Round The World Trip Destination Wish #3: Great Walks in New Zealand
- Milford Track Booked For April 2015
- New Zealand, On The Road Again After a 2 Month Break
- 8 New Zealand Great Walks in 8 Weeks
- Preparing for The Great Walks and Waiting Out Cyclone Pam
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 1: Onepoto to Panekire Hut
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 2: Panekire Hut to Waiopaoa Hut
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 3: Waiopaoa Hut to Marauiti Hut
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Day 4: Marauiti Hut to Hopuruahine Landing
- Wairoa and Taupo, In Between Great Walks
- Tongariro Northern Circuit Day 1: Mangatepopo Hut to Oturere Hut
- Tongariro Northern Circuit Day 2: Oturere Hut to Waihohonu Hut
- Tongariro Northern Circuit Day 3: Waihohonu Hut to Whakapapa Village
- Wellington, Christchurch, Mount Cook, and Queenstown, In Between Great Walks
- Routeburn Track Day 1: Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut
- Routeburn Track Day 2: Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake Mackenzie Hut
- Routeburn Track Day 3: Lake Mackenzie Hut to The Divide
- Milford Track Day 1: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut
- Milford Track Day 2: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut
- Milford Track Day 3: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut
- Milford Track Day 4: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point
- Te Anau, In Between Great Walks
- Rakiura Track Day 1: Oban to Port William Hut
- Rakiura Track Day 2: Port William Hut to North Arm Hut
- Rakiura Track Day 3: North Arm Hut to Oban
- Stewart Island, In Between Great Walks
- Kepler Track Day 1: Te Anau to Luxmore Hut
- Kepler Track Day 2: Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut
- Kepler Track Day 3: Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut
- Kepler Track Day 4: Moturau Hut to Te Anau
- A Return to Milford Sound
- Coastal Pacific Train, Hitchking, And Nelson, In Between Great Walks
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 1: Marahau to Anchorage
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 2: Anchorage to Bark Bay
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 3: Bark Bay to Awaroa
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 4: Awaroa to Whariwharangi
- Abel Tasman Coast Track Day 5: Whariwharangi to Totaranui via Gibbs Hill Track
- Heaphy Track Day 1: Brown Hut to Perry Saddle Hut
- Heaphy Track Day 2: Perry Saddle Hut to James Mackay Hut
- Heaphy Track Day 3: James Mackay Hut to Heaphy Hut
- Heaphy Track Day 4: Heaphy Hut to Kohaihai
- Riding The Tranzalpine Train in New Zealand
- In Review: 69 Days of Backpacking in New Zealand
Previous entry: Day 3 – Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut
Part of the New Zealand Great Walks Journal
Journal entry for April 25, 2015
Distance Hiked: 20.5 km
Since there was forecast for rain for the afternoon, I made an effort to wake up early, hoping to avoid getting wet before finishing the trail and getting back to Te Anau.
A fantail bird came to the hut and posed for my camera for a while. These birds are hard to photograph because they move constantly.
Almost half of the people who had stayed in Iris Burn Hut two nights before had decided to keep going the previous day to Rainbow Reach, and finish the trail there by catching the 5pm bus to Te Anau. Some of them had booked a third night at Moturau Hut, but decided to skip it and finish a day early. They didn’t miss much though, because the last stretch of the track between Moturau Hut and Kepler Track Car Park was the least exciting.
I hiked through forest most of the day, with the occasional view of the Waiau River. The only different part was this patch of wetland.
There was a huge suspension bridge going to the Rainbow Reach.
After this point I started to feel tired. My feet and ankles were sore. I had hiked for pretty much eight days in a row. Three days in Rakiura Track, following by a 2-hour walk around Ulva Island by Stewart Island, and the day after that I started the Kepler Track. I kept thinking that one of the downsides of doing so many treks in such a short amount of time is that I start taking for granted some of the beautiful forest scenery, just because I had seen it so many times already in the previous six weeks. I kept reminding myself to try to enjoy every second of it.
I arrived at Kepler Track Car Park at 12:30, and still had a 45-minute walk to Te Anau. The weather forecast that I read before starting three days before ended up being very accurate. It predicted no rain for the first three days, and afternoon showers on the last day. And that is exactly what happened, as it started to rain a couple of hours after I returned to Te Anau.
This was another spectacular hike. I would rank the Kepler Track as the second or third best of the six Great Walks I had done thus far, only after Milford Track, and maybe tied with Tongariro Northern Circuit. Great alpine scenery, great forests, and a nice beach by Moturau Hut. It’s also easily accessible from Te Anau, without needing expensive transport like the other tracks.
I was now looking forward to resting for a couple of days before making my way north in the South Island to hike the Abel Tasman Coast Track.
These are my ratings for the Kepler Track:
Scenery: 9 – Incredible alpine scenery, with lakes and forests for added effect.
Difficulty: 4.5 – There’s a good amount of elevation gain/loss in the first two days, but trail condition makes you not feel it.
Trail Condition: 9 – No mud at all. Excellent grading on the switchbacks, making them easy to handle.
NZ Department of Conservation?s brochure and video for this walk.
Next entry: A Return to Milford Sound
Part of the New Zealand Great Walks Journal
Really good information in your Great Walks posts! Kudos.
If you had to pick one hut to spend two nights in (as a buffer against bad weather for photographic purposes), which would you recommend? Granted, there’s no guarantee that if there’s bad weather one day that a second day would help at all…
Hi! Sorry for the late reply. The best hut is the first one: Luxmore Hut. It’s high up and has spectacular views of the lakes below. It’s specially beautiful when it’s misty early in the morning.
Hey! Yeah, I figured as such. As I was planning out my days, I realized I didn’t really want to cut out time from another location just to spend more on the Kepler, so I decided I’d just keep it to the standard three nights. Either way, I’m looking forward to it!
If i were to park my car at Kepler Track Carpark for the start of the track and i intend to ends at Rainbow Reach Carpark (4 days later) , is there a shuttle bus to take me from Rainbow reach Carpark to Kepler Track Carpark? If there is any, how do i do the booking?
Thanks in advance.
Shahruddin B Zakaria
I’m not sure about shuttles. You can try asking at DOC iSites, they have all the info you might need. Also, you can try hitchhiking which is safe in NZ.