Kepler Track

Fiordland National Park

  • 3 – 4 days
  • Loop track
  • Easy/medium
  • Booking required

Popular loop track providing access to the mountains around Lake Te Anau.

Mt Luxmore in August • By Yarmoss.
Key information
Time
19 hr – 23 hr
Allow
3 – 4 days
Distance
60.0km
Type
Loop track
Loop track
Grade
Easy/medium
Alpine conditions with avalanche risk during winter and spring. Grades explained
Access
Bookings
Bookings required
Required
Huts and campsites must be booked during peak season (October to April).
Starts
Kepler Track car park, Golf Course Road, Te Anau
Distance from you: ()
Other
Altitude
204m – 1,400m
Altitude change 1,196m
Maps
NZTopo50-CD07
NZTopo50-CD08
Link
www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/fiordland/eastern-fiordland/kepler-track/http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/fiordland/eastern-fiordland/kepler-track/
Kepler Track • By bdsmith99.

The Kepler Track begins on the shores of Lake Te Anau, and climbs into the alpine landscape of the Kepler Mountains in Fiordland National Park. As a circular track, it may be walked in either direction. Overnight trips to parts of the track are also allowed.

Bookings and fees

This track is managed as a Great Walk. While the track itself is free to access, huts and campsites must be booked in advance during the Great Walks season, late October to late April.

Note that campsites are only available at Brod Bay and Iris Burn Hut, making for long days if you choose only to camp. Camping is prohibited within 500m of the track except at the designated campsites. Camping is also possible off track at Shallow Bay. 

Hazards

The Kepler Track is exposed to adverse alpine conditions at any time of year, including heavy rain, snow, and wind. During the early season to December, there is avalanche risk on the track which is monitored and managed by DOC.

Children and young people

Children 17 and under must book, but stay for free at huts and campsites. Children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The full track is not recommended for children under 10 years of age. However, day or overnight walks on lowland sections of track are suitable for families.

Winter tramping

The winter season runs from late April to late October (although avalanche risk applies through to December).

Huts are managed as serviced huts, providing toilets and tank water but no ranger or cooking facilities. Payment is made using backcountry hut tickets. Conditions on alpine sections of the track require snow skills and avalanche awareness. However, lowland sections of track are suitable for general day or overnight use. 

Access

The track starts and finishes at the Kepler Track car park by the Lake Te Anau control gates, 5km from Te Anau. A short lakeside walk links the car park with the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau. The track may also be accessed from Rainbow Reach, 12km from Te Anau. 

Murchison Mountains • By Yarmoss.

The track

Brod Bay campsite • Great Walks Campsite (DOC). 15 spaces.

Kepler Track car park to Brod Bay

Bending northward around the lake-shore, the track comes quickly to Dock Bay, with its picnic Area. Brod Bay is a little further on.

Mt Luxmore Hut • Great Walks Hut (DOC). Capacity: 55.

Brod Bay to Mt Luxmore Hut

The track turns inland and climbs past limestone bluffs and above the bush-line. The hut is reached soon after. 

Mt Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut

Poor weather can hamper the commencement of the alpine crossing from here. The track climbs, nearing the summit of Mt Luxmore and descending to a shelter near Forest Burn Saddle. It is two hours to the next shelter.

Iris Burn Hut • Great Walks Hut (DOC). Capacity: 60.

A series of zigzags lead down into Hanging Valley and towards Iris Burn Hut. A side track leads to the Iris Burn Waterfall upstream from the hut.

Moturau Hut • Great Walk Hut (DOC). Capacity: 40.

Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut

The Iris Burn runs out to Lake Manapouri and the track follows on the true left bank to the lake-shore, descending most of the way. Moturau Hut is situated on the lake-shore in Shallow Bay.

Moturau Hut to Rainbow Reach

An easy track continues around the bay, passing a side track to Shallow Bay Hut and camping area.

The boardwalked track crosses a kettle bog, passing a wetland viewing platform, before crossing the Forest Burn. This river opens out here onto the Balloon Loop, an old bend of the Waiau River. The Waiau River is followed until a swingbridge crosses to the Rainbow Reach Car Park.

Rainbow Reach to Kepler Track car park

The Waiau River runs the short distance between Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri. The Kepler Track follows it on the true right for much of this length, coming out at the Control Gates.

Walking times

  • Kepler Track car park to Brod Bay: 1.5 hours
  • Brod Bay to Mt Luxmore Hut: 3.5 - 4.5 hours​
  • Mt Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut: 5 - 6 hours​
  • Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut: 5 - 6 hours​
  • Moturau Hut to Rainbow Reach: 1.5 hours
  • Rainbow Reach to Kepler Track car park​: 2.5 - 3.5 hours
DoC Humour • By Yarmoss.

Side tracks:

  • Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to Kepler Track car park: 50 minutes
  • Luxmore Cave: 10 minutes from Luxmore Hut
  • Mount Luxmore (1472m): 10 minutes from the saddle beneath the summit
  • Iris Burn Waterfall (497m): 20 minutes from Iris Burn Hut
  • Shallow Bay Hut: 20 minutes from the junction just east of Moturau hut

 

Map 
ID 248

About this track

Added 1 June 2001 by MatthewMatthew. 9 revisions, most recently 29 May 2014 by MatthewMatthew.
2,378 views in the past year (198 per month).