Bridge at Rainbow Reach

Image: Nicola Ponsonby | Creative Commons


To sample the Kepler Track (a Great Walk) or for an easy overnight tramp for kids, follow this track through beech forest to Moturau Hut and Shallow Bay on Lake Manapouri.

Track overview

6 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

3 - 3 hr 30 min return Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


From the Rainbow Reach carpark, cross the swing bridge and follow the track to the Control Gates for 200 m before turning left towards a short steep ascent. After that the track is gently undulating and wanders through mountain beech forest with some great river views. Some scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed near this part of the river.

Further along, cross a kettle bog then continue to the shores of Lake Manapouri.

The Moturau and Shallow Bay Huts are near the lake shore.

Getting there

The track begins from Rainbow Reach, about 12 km south from Te Anau.

Private transport: Follow the Manapouri - Te Anau Highway for about 10.6 km, then turn right at the signposted road to the Rainbow Reach carpark.

Transport providers: There are shuttles service to the car park.

Nature and conservation

Amoeboid Mire

Worth visiting just for its name, this multi-lobed mire (bog) is a easily accessed from this section of the Kepler Track (45–60 min from the car park). A 200 m boardwalk has information panels and a lookout over the tarn and mire.

Located on a terrace that formed as the Manapouri glacier melted, the vegetation is dominated by sphagnum moss, other mosses and wire rush with a range of herbs, shrubs and other plants.

A feature is the large tarn in the central part of the mire system. The wetter south-east portion along the Kepler Track is dominated by sedges. Plants of interest are the yellow-silver pine and pygmy pine - both uncommon at low altitudes. 


Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 249 7924
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Fiordland National Park
Visitor Centre
Lakefront Drive
Te Anau 9600
Postal Address:   PO Box 29
Te Anau 9640
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