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Moturau Hut, Fiordland National Park

Lake Manapouri from near Moturau Hut. Photo: Shaun Barnett/Black Robin Photography
Total Ascent
Moturau Hut (40 bunks, $65 during Great Walk Season, $15 outside the season)
From Rainbow Reach
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Moturau Hut, Fiordland National Park (gpx, yo 16 KB)
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Moturau Hut is a place to visit at any time of the year – perhaps especially in winter when there will be fewer people – if any – walking the Kepler Track.

Most trampers know the Kepler Track can receive huge amounts of snow in winter, making its mountain sections impassable. However, the lower sections of the track are not usually affected and can often bask in warm sunshine. Forty-bunk Moturau Hut, on the shores of stunning Lake Manapouri, is a case in point.

This large, comfortable hut does not need to be booked during winter, though you will need to take your own cooker. It is easily accessible from Rainbow Reach in just a couple of hours. The setting, on the shore of what has often been voted New Zealand’s most beautiful lake, is stunning.

So, take a good book, some nice food, good companions and enjoy the grand spectacle at Shallow Bay across to the Hunter and Kepler Mountains, decked with snow.

Winter scenes don’t come much better than this in New Zealand. If you are really brave, take a quick dip in the lake.