Kepler Track

Our passion lies in helping you get out there and back happy.

KEPLER TRACK HIGHLIGHTS

  • An ‘adventure above the clouds’, the Kepler Track was created for your outdoor pleasure and to showcase the very best of Fiordland.
  • Luxmore Hut, overlooking Lake Te Anau and mountains beyond is a very special place for a relaxing with your hiking buddies. If you are wanting something a little more ‘lodge style’ with hot showers and a wine list, sorry you are out of luck but that’s kind of the charm.  Easyhike food packages are fun, tasty, and make meals a pleasure.  Full of goodness, we choose meals according to your tastebuds – selected from foods that have previously delighted ours.
  • Easy to follow with bridges, boardwalks and steps, walking the Kepler Track is a pleasure. With 3 huts along the way, you can choose to complete the 60 km loop or finish after 50km and skip the last bushwalk.  Walking from Iris Burn Hut out to Rainbow Reach is a decent walk, but easily doable depending on your fitness. Hurrying for the bus can make people nervous and many groups choose to have their car waiting so they don’t have to wait for the bus once they finish.
  • If you are looking for quality gear, Easyhike has clean and comfortable hire gear that’s light your on back and suited to the track. With hotel drop off before you go, borrowing couldn’t be better.

TRACK LOGISTICS

DISTANCE: 60km loop circuit. Transport required. There are two access points so you can finish after 50.5km.

DURATION: Your choice – most people spend 3 Days / 2 Nights but it is possible to spend 3 nights or more.

START: Kepler Track car park or Brod Bay via water taxi from Te Anau.

FINISH:  Rainbow Reach car park or Kepler Track car park.

ACCOMMODATION:  Department of Conservation huts (bunks and shared facilities) or limited camping.

KEPLER TRACK HIKING SERVICES

Packing food and gear for a hike is a hassle when relaxing on holiday.  Get on the track and back with Easyhike, and enjoy the ease.  

Our specialty is car relocation, and delivering on food and gear, but our true passion lies in helping you get out there and hiking happy.

2 Nights 3 Days

3 Nights 4 Days

Premium Package Inclusions

Local Support
& Advice

Hut
Bookings

Car relocation
(your car or bus)

Hiking Food

Premium
Gear Hire

Kepler Track Water Taxi

Water Taxi: Adult $30
Child (4-14 years) $15

Departures:
Te Anau to Brod Bay
OR Reverse
8.30am, 9.30am, 10.30am

Kepler Track Bus

From $144/Adult ex/to QT
From $20/Adult ex/to Te Anau
+ Water Taxi from $30pp

Kepler Track Bus Timetable

Queenstown to Te Anau: 6:55am, 8.00am, 10.30am (Departs from Queenstown Central and Queenstown Airport)

Te Anau to Kepler Carpark (Control Gates) or Rainbow Reach: 8.45am, 9.30am, 2.20pm, 3.40pm (Departs from DOC Visitor Centre or Lakeview Holiday Park)

Rainbow Reach to Te Anau: 10.00am, 3.00pm, 4.00pm

Kepler Carpark (Control Gates) to Te Anau: 10.10am, 3.10pm. 4.10pm

Te Anau to Queenstown: 7.05am, 11.30am, 5pm (Departs from DOC Visitor Centre or Lakeview Holiday Park)

Kepler TRACK KEY POINTS

Suggested Itinerary

yyyfirKepler Track DOC Track Elevation Profile

Day 1: Broad Bay via Lake Te Anau to Luxmore Hut (3 ½ – 4 ½ hours, 8.2km)
Day 2: Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut (5-6 hours, 14.6km)
Day 3: Iris Burn Hut to Rainbow Reach car park (6 ½ – 7 ½ hours, 22.2km)

See the DOC Kepler Track brochure for further details on the terrain covered each day.

Insider Tip:

  • You can choose to walk the Kepler in either direction, we suggested starting in Brod Bay and walking up to Luxmore Hut first, depending on hut availability.
  • The entire Kepler Track is a 60km, 3-night loop, however, most people choose to walk it over 3 days/2 nights and skip close to 16kms. They skip the first 5kms, with a water taxi ride over Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay, and then skip the last 9.5kms by finishing in Rainbow Reach and either meet their car there (with our awesome car relocation service) or by waiting for the bus from Rainbow Reach to Te Anau as the scenery is much the same. We recommend this option, which means covering 22km from Iris Burn to Rainbow Reach car park on the final day.
DOC Huts

During the Great Walks season, the huts have basic cooking facilities, heating, bunks, mattresses, heating, toilets, solar-powered lighting, running cold water and A DOC ranger in residence. There are no cooking utensils or showers in the huts and bookings are required.

The Kepler Track is extremely popular and we recommend you plan your trip early so you can secure your ideal dates. Our Premium package includes DOC hut tickets if you want us to take care of booking these for you.

Transport

The Kepler Track has several starting and finishing points, accessible by road and water taxi, which we can help you with.

We recommend starting the track by taking a 10-minute water taxi ride from Te Anau township to Brod Bay and finishing at Rainbow Reach car park with our car relocation service.

You can also access the start/finish of the track:

  • From the Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre in the township of Te Anau (approximately 50-minute walk along the lakefront) or
  • From the Kepler Track car park (5km from Te Anau) or
  • From Rainbow reach car park (12km drive from Te Anau). Our recommended finishing point.
Weather

The weather in New Zealand and Fiordland National Park is very changeable. Even if the forecast is for fine weather or it’s the height of summer, you should always be prepared. Heavy rain, strong winds, cold temperatures, snow can happen at any time of the year so make sure you have the right clothing including warm layers and a rain jacket. Check the weather forecast before heading out – here is the Metservice weather report for Fiordland National Park.

Fitness

A good level of fitness is needed to walk the Kepler Track and you should make sure it suits your abilities. By starting at Brod Bay, your first day will largely be uphill as it is a gradual climb up to Luxmore Hut, which gets the hard part out the way first, but either direction is equally rewarding. Talk to us about tramping poles which are an excellent tool to assist you throughout the hike.

What To Take

See our Great Walks Packing List for what you need to take, or book our Great Walk Gear Package and we’ll supply it all for you! Your footwear is one of the most important factors to consider. Most people opt for hiking boots over trainers but it’s a personal choice. Factors you should consider when deciding which footwear include your hiking experience, fitness level and how heavy your pack will be. We recommend hiking boots for support and comfort, but either way, your footwear needs to be well worn in and used to your feet, otherwise – hello blisters! No one wants blisters…

Food-wise, you’ll want to make sure you have enough to last the 3-day walk, plus contingency. Food should be lightweight, tasty, nutritious and provide you with much-needed fuel! Our Food Packages take care of this.

Safety

The Kepler Track is well-maintained and easy to follow, but some sections are steep and can be slippery. Always stick to the track and look out for your fellow hikers. DOC rangers are stationed in the huts during the Great Walks season, but you should always check the weather before you go, and tell someone of your plans. The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council have some fantastic resources on keeping safe in the great outdoors.

Bookings & Hiking Season

The Kepler Track is really popular and the busy months usually sell out 6 months to 1 year in advance. We recommend planning and booking your trip as early as possible to secure your ideal dates. 
 
The Great Walk Season runs from late October until late April every summer. If you are looking at hiking outside of the season, talk to us to find out more about walking in ‘winter’. 

What People are Saying…

Taking the water taxi from Te Anau lakefront, we started the trek from Brod Bay campsite. The 2nd day from Luxmore to Iris Burn was particularly awesome. The path to Luxmore summit was very windy, but we had almost zero wind after that, views were excellent especially on the ridges between 2 emergency shelters. Finished the trek at Rainbow Reach, lucky we hired Easyhike to move our car there from the town center, so we didn’t have to wait for the shuttle bus, no hassle!

Lanny Natalia, March 2018