Fiordland ideas for 22 April-10 May

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Hi, Need some help to finalize plans posted in a different forum, here: Thanks, Marian
Hmm some of the huts are full or closed, so do you think the bellow is douable? Arriving in Queenstown on 22nd April at 14:40 from Sydney PLAN A: 23 April Queenstown 24 April Glenorchy ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 25 April Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Flats Hut Time: 1 hr 30 min – 2 hr 30 min Distance: 6.5 km 26 April Routeburn Flats Hut to Routeburn Falls Hut Time: 1 – 1 hr 30 min Distance: 2.3 km + Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake Mackenzie Hut Time: 4 hr 30 min – 6 hr Distance: 11.3 km + Mackenzie Hut to Howden Hut Time: 3 – 4 hr Distance: 8.6 km 26 April Lake Howden Hut to The Divide Time: 1 –1 hr 30 min Distance: 3.4 km -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 26 April pick up the car at the Divide->Te Anau or shuttle back to Glenorchy/Queenstown? 27-28 April Te Anau 29 April Kepler Track carpark (can I park a rental here?) to Brod Bay Time: 1 hr 30 min Distance: 5.6 km + Brod Bay to Luxmore Hut 3 hr 30 min - 4 hr 30 min, 8.2 km 30 April Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut Time: 5 – 6 hr Distance: 14.6 km 1st May Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut (spent the night out of season or shuttle from Rainbow Reach on the same day?) Time: 5–6 hr Distance: 16.2 km 2nd May Moturau Hut to Rainbow Reach Time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr Distance: 6 km + Rainbow Reach to Kepler Track carpark Time: 2 hr 30 min – 3 hr 30 min Distance: 9.5 km -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I could rent a car only for the rest: 3rd May Drive to Milford Sound 4th May Boat cruise 5th May return to Te Anau or Queenstown and do day trips 8th May Queenstown-Sydney Milford is fully booked during the season. What do you think? Thanks again, Marian
Questions about PLAN A from before: 1) It doesn't make sense to plan up to 11.5h day tramp on Routeburn when the day light will only have 10hours... It gets worse for Kepler, with up to 12h day. 2) How exposed (according to "The Rough guide to NZ") is Kepler between Luxmore and Iris please? Especially for someone both afraid of height and with balance problems such as my wife (who did spend 5 days at 4500-5000m in the Andes though, but on stable paths where mules can go- and does moderate daily tramps). ----------------------------------------------------- So could you help me finalize this plan instead? PLAN B (influenced by Scott's Cook "NZ Frenzy- South Island"): 22 April aft arriving in Queenstown 23 April Queenstown (Remarkables Road, the Hill) 24 April Glenorchy - Routeburn Falls Hut (2.5h , 9kms + 3h drive) 25 April Routeburn Falls Hut- Conical Hill- Routeburn Falls Hut(12km, 8h) 26 April Routeburn Falls Hut- Glenorchy- Wanaka (6.5 km, 2.5 h + 3h drive) 26 April Wanaka - Rob Roy Glacier Valley track ( 3 hours, 12kms tramp) 27 April Wanaka Diamond Lake/Rocky Mountain(2h, 8kms) + Minaret Burn/Coloquhoung Beach (3h, 14 kms) 28 April Mt Cook Village Hooker Valley Track ( 3h, 10 kms + 2.5h drive) 29 Mt Cook Village -Te Anau 5h drive 30 April Te Anau - Kepler Track carpark (can I park a rental here?) to Brod Bay- Luxmore Hut (6h, 14kms + 1h drive) 1st May Luxmore Hut- Te Anau (6h, 14kms + 1h drive) 2 May Te Anau- Gertrude Valley- Milford Sound 3 May Milford Sound boat cruise- Marian Lake - Te Anau 4 May Te Anau -Key Summit Track (6h, 10 kms + 2h drive) 5 May Te Anau- Kepler Track Rainbow Reach carpark (can I park a rental here?) to Shallow Bay Hut Lake Manpouri (4h 10kms) 6 May Te Anau- Humbold Falls/Streambead (2h + 4h drive) 7 May Te Anau- Queenstown (2h) 8 May Queenstown 9 May flying to Sydney Thanks, Marian
30 April Te Anau to Kepler car park is a 5 minute drive. I've counted around 30-50 cars there in the October week before opening. Haven't heard of any issues. Check with your rental company. Talk with the Te Anau DoC office before you go. They're friendly and helpful people. They'll check you for hut passees. Usually a warden at Luxmore Hut anyway. It's 4-5hr'ish to Luxmore Hut from car park. Mainly hiking thru bush/forest. Just past the big rocks (you'll know them when you get there) the track opens to boardwalk to the nearby Luxmore Hut. The caves are 10min back behind you, but really the trip opens up as you ascend the along the windy tops beyond Luxmore Hut. You might at least go as far as the 10min deviation to the Top of Mt Luxmore for pics ?. Coming down is a whole lot quicker, of course. In the current 10d weather forecast for Mt Luxmore Hut, I see 3 sleet/snow days and 2 light/heavy rain days, a-4degC spot and a 10d high of 13degC. 40% of the temperature forecast for the 10 days are zero or below degrees C. You're tripping on the cusp of Winter and you don't have much leeway in choosing your weather windows of opportunity. If you can get to Milford Sounds (sometimes snow closes the road) there's a 50% chance it'll rain. On the boat cruise it means the waterfalls will be running.
Thanks Pro-active! I'm not so scared to leave a rental in the carparks anymore, as it would be empty (the luggage would stay in Te Anau, Glenorchy etc). Thanks for the detail hints as to how much past Luxmore Hut I should go (at least for photos) and out of curiosity, going back to my previous post: a) How exposed is Kepler between Luxmore and Iris please? And does the expose portion start relatively close to Luxmore? b) I am considering booking Iris Hut as well, try it on the first day when we get to Luxmore and then decide if we'd go forward or return on the second day? c) The same approach could be tried for Routeburn: Book also Lake Howden Hut and decide on the second day if we just return from the Conical Hill to Routeburn Falls Hut or do we push through to Lake Howden Hut? What do you guys think? As for Milford Sound: Do you guys vote for a rain day to see the waterfalls from the boat cruise or for a sunny day to enjoy the scenery? Anyhow I plan to spent the night there so I might get both :D
" How exposed is Kepler between Luxmore and Iris please? And does the expose portion start relatively close to Luxmore?" From the summit of Luxmore there is about 4 hours of easy tramping along a ridgeline, that in nice weather has terrific views. If there is a strong wind it will be an unpleasant struggle. By the time you get to the top of Luxmore (about 30 - 60 from Luxmore Hut) you will know if the wind is too strong or not. If you are having trouble standing up in it, then probably another 3 -5 hours staggering along to the Iris Burn will be no fun at all. If it raining AND windy you will need to consider how good your gear is, how cold you are going to get, and if cold exposure is a risk. If there is deep snow the track will be impassable for most people. Indeed two young men were killed in an avalanche about 2/3rd the way along this section several years ago. Once you reach the Iris Burn valley and start dropping down to bushline you will be fine. Most of the time the Luxmore ridgeline is a pleasant tramp that thousands of people do every year. The terrain is steepish in some places, but the track is well-defined and very safe. As Pro-Active said, it is starting to get close to winter and if the weather is against you, change your plan. I have a special attachment to the Kepler; I did it as a pure wilderness trip in 1976 many years before it was turned into a busy track. There used to be a small 6 bunk Forest Service hut just on bushline and about 200m below where the big new Luxmore Hut is. I stayed there many nights on my own, relishing the solitude, the views and the magic of the place. Especially when the weather was bad. Whatever happens, relax, don't fight the weather and enjoy yourself!
Thumbs up
Thanks Waynowski (especially for the weather links as I did of course know about the track info site) Thank you also Philip! This is very helpful and I'll probably be booking Iris Hut as well , try it on the first day when we get to Luxmore and then decide if we'd go forward to it or return on the second day to Luxmore Hut (after one hour, once we reach the top of Luxmore). I wanted to do double booking for that day (May 1st) at both Luxmore and Iris, but the site won't let me... And do the same for Routeburn Flats Hut and Howden Hut for April 26th. I might just play it safe and stick to plan B above...
Just book the thru tramps. If the weather craps out and you're stuck or can't progress, then you're stuck or have to return - no-one will shoot you for it.
1 deleted post from waynowski
the rangers work in with the weather conditions and make allowances, sometimes people have to remain at huts because of weather or road or track problems. they can radio for mass changes to shuttle bookings when needed
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Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by marian
On 6 April 2018
Replies 30
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