One of just two Great Walks loop tracks, the Kepler can also be walked from Te Anau township.
Kepler Track car park to Luxmore Hut
The track hugs the shore of Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay, where there’s a steep switchback ascent. Above the treeline are stunning views over Lake Te Anau which is revealed from amongst the tussock. The hut is then reached within an hour. Sidetracks to Luxmore Cave and Mt Luxmore are worthwhile.
Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut
The day begins with a climb to a ridgeline which provides staggering views across the south fiord of Lake Te Anau and the Murchison Mountains. The tops travel in this section is marvellous – perhaps the best of any of the Great Walks. Two shelters – Forest Burn and Hanging Valley – provide spots for a snack or break from the weather before the steep descent to Iris Burn. A 20min walk leading to the impressive falls is a must-do side trip from the hut.
Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut
The track follows the river down a glacial valley beneath beech and podocarp trees to the shore of Lake Manapouri. Sidling around Shallow Bay, the track soon reaches Moturau Hut.
Moturau Hut to Kepler Track car park
The final day begins in the forest before emerging into a boardwalk section crossing a wetland. Before long, it returns to the forest to follow the Waiau River to Rainbow Reach, where it’s possible to shuttle back to Te Anau. Those who continue follow Waiau River for another 2-3hr to reach the Kepler Track car park.
- Total Ascent
- Moderate / Difficult
- 3-4 days. To Luxmore Hut, 5-6.5hr; To Iris Burn Hut, 5-6hr; To Moturau Hut, 5-6hr; To car park, 4-5.5hr
- Luxmore Hut (54 bunks), Iris Burn Hut (50 bunks), Moturau Hut (40 bunks), Iris Burn Campsite
- Kepler Track car park at the Control Gates, Te Anau