Introduction

Find out about the Kepler Track between late October and April.

In the Great Walks season (27 October 2020 – 30 April 2021):

  • track is well marked and signposted, but some sections are steep and rough
  • cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur
  • DOC manages avalanche risk to a low level and may close the alpine section of the track between Luxmore Hut and Iris Burn Hut if avalanche conditions exist
  • track is not recommended for children under the age of 10, due to the exposed  mountainous environment and often adverse weather conditions.

On this page:

Highlights

  • Watch out for the cheeky kea - the world's only alpine parrot
  • Explore the fascinating Luxmore Caves
  • Walk to the isolated Iris Burn Falls

Explore on Google Street ViewWatch videos 

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Iris Burn Falls

Walking options

Walk the full track. Most walkers take 4 days/3 nights.

Enjoy a day walk. Kepler Track carpark to Dock Bay and Brod Bay | Kepler Track carpark to Rainbow ReachRainbow Reach to Shallow Bay or Moturau Hut | Kepler Track carpark to Luxmore Hut

Places to stay

There are 3 huts and 2 campsites along the Kepler Track, which must be booked well in advance during the Great Walks season. Camping or staying overnight in the shelters at Forest Burn and Hanging Valley is not permitted.

Hut facilities

Huts have bunks, mattresses, heating, toilets, basic cooking facilities, solar-powered lighting, and cold running water. A DOC ranger is in residence. Huts do not have food, cooking utensils or showers.

Campsite facilities

Campsites have basic facilities including toilets, sinks and a water supply. Some have picnic tables and shelters. Campers can't use the hut facilities.

Fees and bookings

Huts

New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand*:

  • Adult (18+ years): $65 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:

  • Adult (18+ years): $65 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): $32.50 per person, per night
Campsites

New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand*:

  • Adult (18+ years): $20 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:

  • Adult (18+ years): $20 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): $10 per person, per night

New Zealand rates:

  • "Ordinarily resident in New Zealand" means those:
    • who hold a residence class, student or work visa; and
    • who have lived in New Zealand for six of the previous 12 months; and
    • for whom New Zealand is their primary place of established residence.
  • Proof of eligibility will be required for the New Zealand rate. Acceptable eligibility proof.
Discounts

A 10% discount is available to members, staff and instructors of the following organisations, who also hold a valid 12 month Backcountry Hut Pass: NZ Mountain Safety Council; NZ Federated Mountain Clubs; NZ Deer Stalkers Association; NZ Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR); Scouts New Zealand; GirlGuiding NZ.

Discounts are not available online. To receive the discount we need to sight your membership card and Backcountry Hut Pass, so please visit a DOC visitor centre in person. If you get a discount you won't be charged a booking fee.

Bookings

Huts and campsites must be booked in advance. Booking opening dates are notified two weeks ahead of bookings opening. Book online

You can book transport between Te Anau and the ends of the tracks, otherwise it's a 50 min walk.

Getting there

Kepler Track can be started from:

  • Kepler Track car park: 5 km from Te Anau.
  • Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre: 50 min walk along the lakefront to the entrance of the track.
  • Rainbow Reach car park: 12 km from Te Anau.

Shuttle buses provide a daily service to the entry and exit points on the track during the Great Walks season. A scheduled boat service also offers transport to Brod Bay.

Destination Fiordland has information about transport operators.

What to take

To have a safe and enjoyable trip, it's essential you have the appropriate clothing and equipment. Find out what to take.

Know before you go

Weather conditions can change quicky in any season. Fiordland National Park experiences high rainfall (up to 9000 mm per year) and weather conditions can change quickly in any season. Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year. Be prepared for all conditions. Check the Fiordland National Park weather forecast (MetService website).

The risk of avalanche can extend into December. During the Great Walks season, DOC manages avalanche risk and may close the alpine section between Luxmore Hut and Iris Burn Hut if there is avalanche hazard.

Your safety is your responsibility. Know the Outdoor Safety Code - 5 simple rules to ensure you have a great trip and make it home.

Track description

Kepler Track carpark to Brod Bay

Time: 1 hr 30 min
Distance: 5.6 km

The track begins with a stroll through the beech forest along the shore of Lake Te Anau, the largest body of fresh water in Australasia, to Brod Bay.

Brod Bay to Luxmore Hut

Time: 3 hr 30 min - 4 hr 30 min
Distance: 8.2 km

A challenging climb under impressive limestone bluffs takes you above the bushline to panoramic views of the Te Anau Basin and surrounding mountains. Luxmore Hut is a 45 minute walk from the bushline.

Side trip: Luxmore Cave

Time: 20 min return

The track from the hut is clearly signposted.

Side trip: Luxmore summit

Time: 30 min return

In fine weather you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views from the highest point on the track (1472 m).

Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut

Time: 5 – 6 hr
Distance: 14.6 km

Start your day on top of the world. From the hut, you’ll climb to a ridge just below Mount Luxmore, with stunning views across the south fiord of Lake Te Anau to the Murchison Mountains. A welcoming sight after a day on the tops, Iris Burn Hut is situated in a large tussock clearing.

Iris Burn Hut to Moturau Hut

Time: 5–6 hr
Distance: 16.2 km

Experience ever-changing scenery as the track takes you over a low saddle, then down past a large slip caused by heavy rain to Rocky Point. You’ll then wind through a gorge and lowland beech and podocarp forest, before reaching the shore of beautiful Lake Manapouri. The beach-side Moturau Hut has stunning views of the lake.

Moturau Hut to Rainbow Reach

Time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr
Distance: 6 km

The last day is easy walking across a unique and fragile wetland. The track then follows the Waiau River terrace to the swing bridge at Rainbow Reach. You can leave the track here and catch a shuttle bus to Te Anau.

Rainbow Reach to Kepler Track carpark

Time: 2 hr 30 min – 3 hr 30 min
Distance: 9.5 km

Continue alongside the Waiau River to the Kepler Track car park.


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