Kepler Track - Southland, New Zealand - Credit Miles Holden (3)
From Te Anau
Kepler Track © Miles Holden

Te Anau is the basecamp for Fiordland National Park and the perfect place to set yourself up for day walking. Nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the township offers easy access to many great walking options.

From the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to Ivon Wilson Park

Duration: 10 minutes

From Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, follow the walk and cycleway about 1 km (0.6 mi) around the lake edge to the yacht club then cross the road to Ivon Wilson Park. Ivon Wilson Park is 35 hectares of native and exotic trees with several attractive paths leading to picturesque Lake Henry stocked with rainbow and brown trout as a children’s fishery. Ivon Wilson Park is also the place to find frisbee golf and mountain bike tracks.  On a windy day in Te Anau you will find a sanctuary of stillness and nature in Ivon Wilson Park. In autumn, enjoy the colourful change of season, in spring search for daffodils.  You may even find the Fiordland Kindergarten’s bush-classroom!

**Cycle friendly**

**Dog friendly**


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Ivon Wilson Park - Anja Kohler

From the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to Punanga Manu o Te Anau / Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

Duration: 20 minutes

Starting from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, follow the walk and cycleway around the lakeshore past the yacht club to Punanga Manu o Te Anau / Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. The park is open from dawn until dusk and entry is by a gold coin donation. Be sure to visit the takahē enclosure, and you may be lucky enough to spot this rare native species. The aviaries and pens housing the birds are set in beautiful grounds with views of the lake.

**Cycle friendly**
**Dog friendly - please keep your dog on a lead**

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Ranger with takahe - Anja Kohler

From the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to Control Gates

Duration: 50 minutes

Follow the walk and cycleway from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre around the edge of the lake, passing Punanga Manu o Te Anau / Te Anau Bird Sanctuary before reaching the Kepler Track car park and the Control Gates. These gates regulate water flow between lakes Te Anau and Manapouri for the West Arm hydroelectric power station and mark the beginning of the Kepler Track. Be aware walkers share this track with cyclists. Excellent lake and mountain views are enjoyed as the track crosses open land below the golf course.

**Cycle friendly**

**Dog friendly - note dogs are not permitted beyond the Control Gates as this is national park**

Control Gates to Dock Bay (Kepler Track)

Duration: 1 hour return 

The Control Gates mark the start of the Kepler Track, a 3–4 day Great Walk.  You will find a toilet, shelter, track information and a car park at the Control Gates. From the Control Gates, the track follows the lake edge through a forest of mountain and red beech to Dock Bay. Dock Bay is an ideal spot for swimming and a picnic lunch and has toilet facilities. 

From the Control Gates to Brod Bay

Duration: 3 hours return 
4 hours return from Te Anau

From Dock Bay, the Kepler Track continues around the lake for another hour to Brod Bay. Alternatively, you can catch a lift with the local water taxi across Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay, be sure to pre-book your water taxi. Enjoy a pleasant walk on the Kepler Track back to the Control Gates or Te Anau township via the Bird Sanctuary.

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Kepler Water Taxi Te Anau to Brod Bay

Control Gates to Luxmore Hut (Kepler Track)

Durations: 8-10 hours return

Through mountain and silver beech forest, passes under towering limestone bluffs, and climbs above the bush line to Luxmore Hut. This strenuous, full-day walk provides impressive views of lakes Te Anau and Manapouri and the Te Anau basin.

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Visit Luxmore Hut - Sophie Piearcey

Te Anau to Luxmore Hut (Kepler Track)

Duration: 4 - 5 hours

An easier option for hiking Mount Luxmore is to take a helicopter flight from Te Anau to the Luxmore Hut. After a spectacular flight to the hut, it’s time to stretch the legs. Explore above the hut for more extensive views. If you are keen, you can get to the summit of Mt. Luxmore in a 3-hour return trip from Luxmore Hut. Then follow the track from the hut through an alpine herb field for an hour before reaching the bush line and descending the mountain along the Kepler Track. Catch a water taxi from Brod Bay (be sure to pre-book) or continue on another 1.5 hours to the Control Gates or a further hour to Te Anau. There are beautiful views over the Te Anau basin on a nice day.

Control Gates to Rainbow Reach (Kepler Track)

Duration: - 2.5 hours

From the Control Gates, follow the Kepler Track along the terraces of the Waiau River through red and mountain beech forest. There is a swing bridge to cross over the Waiau River when you arrive at Rainbow Reach. A shuttle bus service operates between Te Anau and Rainbow Beach during the summer months, always pre-book.

Rainbow Reach to Shallow Bay or Moturau Hut (Kepler Track)

Duration: 3.5 - 4 hours return

Rainbow Reach is 12 kilometres (7.5 miles), a 10-minute drive from Te Anau on the Manapouri/Te Anau Highway or a 3-hour walk from the Control Gates. The track is gently undulating and wanders through mountain beech forest with some great river views and two swing bridges. Some scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed near this part of the river. Further along, cross a board-walked wetland then continue to the shores of Lake Manapouri. The Moturau and Shallow Bay Huts are near the lakeshore and offer shelter and toilet facilities.

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Rainbow Reach Swing Bridge - Pania Dalley

Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to the Rodeo Grounds

Duration: 40 minutes

A flat and easy walk along the lakeshore taking you from the centre of Te Anau, past lakefront homes and offering a spectacular view across to Fiordland National Park and the northern end of Lake Te Anau. From the visitor centre, follow the Te Anau lakeshore past the centre of town and continue along the footpath to the boat harbour at Blue GumBluegum Point. The track continues along the lakefront to the rodeo grounds and further.

**Cycle friendly**
**Dog friendly - don’t forget to clean up after your dog**

Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to Upukerora River

Duration: 3 hours return

Walk to the rodeo grounds (as above), then continue around the lakefront to the mouth of the Upukerora River. Return either the same way or follow the gravel road alongside the river to the Milford Sound Highway and back into town. Although not in Fiordland National Park, both these walks provide pleasant views of the Murchison Mountains and Lake Te Anau.

*Cycle friendly**
**Dog friendly - don’t forget to clean up after your dog**