A couple of points of interest to trampers are that the track is actually 7 km shorter than thought, and that for day trampers arguably the finest stand of red beech in country, and that means the world, is only 10 minutes walk from the control gates.

The map data for the track was collected using GPS technology and showed the track to be just under 60km, and also repositioned the track on currently available maps. The guide is on laminated paper and its heart is 2km-per-page track sections with lots of information and colour photographs. It is the only guide available to the Kepler.

The beech stand is unbelievable, and can be found by walking south along the river from the control gates just a couple of km. It occupies a more fertile river terrace and the track passes right through it. Even to a forester who has spent most of his working life in our forests, it was a spectacular sight.

The Kepler is one of our favourite tracks, I have met no one who has been disappointed.

[Gordon Hosking is the editor of Kiwi Footpaths, a series of guides to New Zealand's "Great Walks,"currently in production.]