New Zealand

Kepler Track Great Walk

Quick Info

Kepler Track Map
  • 4 day circuit tramp
  • 3 large huts
  • starts and ends 4 kilometres from Te Anau
  • passes through beech forest and a wetland
  • high point Mount Luxmore at 1472 metres
  • beautiful alpine scenery, waterfalls and lakeside views
  • popular track and scene of the annual Kepler Challenge

Huts and Times

StartDistance (kms)Time (hrs)EndBunksHut amenities
Control Gates 13.8 5 to 6 Luxmore Hut 55 Cooking, heating, lighting
Luxmore Hut 14.6 5 to 6 Iris Burn Hut 50 Cooking, heating, lighting
Iris Burn Hut 16.2 5 to 6 Moturau Hut 40 Cooking, heating, lighting
Moturau Hut 15.5 4 to 5.5 Control Gates    

Walk Description

Starting at the Control Gates approximately 5 kilometres from Te Anau, the Kepler Track follows the lake shore around Dock Bay and onto Brod Bay. At Brod Bay the track heads away from the lake and climbs steadily to reach the bushline after about three hours. There are some limestone bluffs along the way providing a good place to rest.

Above the bushline the track is marked by orange topped poles and Luxmore Hut is not far away. At the hut there is an interesting side trip to Luxmore Cave.

From Luxmore Hut the track continues to climb and there is a 10 minute side trip to the top of Mount Luxmore, the track then descends to Forest Burn Saddle. Climbing again, the track passes the Hanging Valley Shelter and then drops via a series of zigzags to enter forest and reach the Iris Burn Hut. The Iris Burn Waterfall is a short 20 minute walk from the hut.

The track between Iris Burn and Moturau huts passes through beech forest and follows Iris Burn down to Lake Manapouri. Moturau hut is located on the lakeside at Shallow Bay with stunning views of the lake.

From Moturau Hut the track leaves Lake Manapouri, passing through a small wetland and then follows the Waiau River back to the Control Gates at Lake Te Anau. There is an optional pickup point at Rainbow Reach just a couple of hours from the hut with regular shuttle buses in the summer, however during the winter the bus must be pre-booked.

More information about the Fiordland National Park.

How to get there

The track start is only 5 kilometres from the town of Te Anau and can be walked or driven to. There is parking available at the Control Gates. Te Anau is located in the Fiordland region in the southwest of the South Island. The town is 172 kilometres from the main center of Queenstown and 641 kilometres from Christchurch.

State Highway 94 passes through Te Anau on its way to Milford Sound, so the town is a great place to base yourself for a number of the Great Walks. There is a full range of accommodation available in Te Anau including a lovely camp site on the Manapouri road which has splendid views of the lake.

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