From beech-forested lakeside to rocky ridgelines
Easily accessible from Te Anau, the Kepler Track is one of the most popular Great Walks in Fiordland. While many of the area’s other multi-day hikes have their origins in old pioneering or Māori trails, the Kepler is a track built purely for the pleasure of walking.
The full loop track is 60km long (37 miles) and takes three to four days to traverse. It offers a panorama of ever-changing scenery. Starting along the shores of Lake Te Anau and its lush forest setting, the track soon ascends the impressive Mt Luxmore before heading across tussock-covered ridgelines offering vast views across Fiordland.
The full track is not available as a guided walk during the Great Walks season (October to late April), but there are options to do a guided day walk on the Kepler Track. The Kepler Water Taxi offers transport across Lake Te Anau for those who wish to shorten the walk to Luxmore Hut or to allow for an enjoyable shorter walk back around the lakefront from Brod Bay.
The Kepler Track is one of nine New Zealand Great Walks and is a true wilderness adventure with views of giant beech trees and vast fern forests to tiny lichens and mosses. Listen carefully for the call of the kea, New Zealand’s cheeky alpine parrot, and the kārearea/falcon. With such impressive flora and fauna on display, it is no surprise the Kepler Track is home to the award-winning, community conservation project, Kids Restore the Kepler.
HOW TO WALK THE KEPLER TRACK
The Kepler Track is an ideal walking experience for anyone eager to explore the great outdoors on their own terms.
The Kepler Track is a loop track which can be walked in either direction. The track is well-marked and signposted, but some sections are steep and rough and may be muddy and slippery. Due to the elevated sections of the walk, poor weather conditions can make this walk challenging, even in the Great Walks season.
It takes three to four days to cover the 60 km (37 miles) walk.
IMPORTANT KEPLER TRACK INFORMATION
The Kepler Track must be pre-booked during the Great Walks season (late October to late April). You can book a bed in a hut or a tent-site at one of the two campsites on the Track (Brod Bay and Iris Burn). During the winter months (May to October) the track remains open, but with reduced facilities and additional safety risks associated with avalanche danger in the alpine section to consider. But it is possible to stay at one of the huts without doing the whole walk.
During the Great Walks season, huts have bunks, mattresses, heating, toilets, basic cooking facilities, solar-powered lighting and cold running water and a DOC ranger in residence. Campsites offer basic facilities including toilets, sinks and a water supply. Bookings are essential.
Fiordland's weather is highly changeable, and unprepared walkers may find themselves facing severe weather, snow-covered alpine passes, ice and slips on the track. Contact the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre before you walk out of season and always check weather conditions.
FAQs about the Kepler Track
Where is the Kepler Track?
The Kepler Track is found in Fiordland National Park. The track starts and finishes in Te Anau.
How long is the Kepler Track?
The full loop is 60km however this can be shortened by a water taxi across Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay, and by finishing the walk at Rainbow Reach.
How do I book the Kepler Track?
You can book your independent (unguided) walk through the Department of Conservation.
Can I walk the Kepler Track without a guide?
Yes you can! This is called independent walking. You will need to take all of your own food and equipment.