Hike The Kepler Track
The Kepler Track Great Walk is located within a short drive from Te Anau, a small lake-side town connecting Queenstown and Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South island. If you want to discover some of New Zealand’s most stunning beech forests, clear blue lakes and granite peaks, without fighting over photography spots with crowds of tourists – then the Kepler Track is the hike for you!
The Kepler Track at a glance:
- Starts and ends at the Control Gates on Lake Te Anau.
- 60 kilometres long (37 miles) A to A (loop) track.
- Typically takes three nights, four days to complete.
What we’ll do:
Control Gates to Brod Bay, or from the Control Gates to Rainbow Reach
Which trips include the Kepler Track day walk?
Where is the Kepler Track?
The Kepler Track begins at the south outlet of Lake Te Anau, where the Waiau River flows through the Control Gates. These Control Gates regulate the flow of water between Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri, and the West Arm hydroelectric power station then harnesses that energy for conversion to electrical energy, for distribution all over New Zealand.
The Kepler Track is a loop, which is one of the reasons that it is a popular choice for independent hikers – they don’t need to worry about a transfer from the other end of the track. To find the Kepler Track car park, turn off State Highway 95 onto Golf Course Road, and the south end of the lake, and parking is on the right hand side. You’ll also find a picnic shelter, and public toilets at the trail head.
What’s so special about the Kepler Track?
The Kepler Track is a stunningly beautiful walk, and on a ‘Pristine New Zealand’ trip with us you can expect to walk one of either Control Gates to Brod Bay, or Control Gates to Rainbow Reach. The decision as to which walk is favourable will depend on weather conditions, timings, and ability level of the group. Though rest assured, both of these sections are stunning.
On the section between the Control Gates and Rainbow Reach you’ll immerse yourself immediately, and for most of the 9km (5.6 miles) section, in beech forest. The huge trees stand like sentinels, keeping an eye on one of Fiordland National Park’s most prized activities. With the forest to your right, you’ll walk with the deep green waters of the Waiau River to your left, rarely straying far enough from it to be out of earshot of the gentle rapids. If you pause for a minute or two, you’re likely to find the New Zealand black robin hopping around near your feet, they like to investigate the ground where walkers may have stirred up insects.
The Control Gates to Rainbow Reach section is an opportunity to find your inner calm. We’d recommend walking by yourself for a while, or with a loved one, in silence; listening to the river, the birdsong, and the sound of the spongy trail beneath your feet is surely good for the soul.
The other section we’ll walk, is to Brod Bay, which means embarking on the Kepler Track in an anticlockwise direction. On a hot day this is a great day walk to choose, as you’ll be skirting the shores of Lake Te Anau all the way along the 3km (1.9 miles) section to the Brod Bay Campsite – wherever the lake is accessible is a good place for a swim! Again, you’ll be walking amongst native beech forest, of red, silver, and hard varieties, and again there’s ample opportunity to find calm and quiet along the way. The Brod Bay campsite marks the halfway point, where we might stop to eat lunch, or boil up some water for a coffee or tea! There’s drinking water here to replenish your bottles for the return journey, as well as toilets.
Whichever day walk you choose on the Kepler Track, you can expect thick, mossy forest, an abundance of birdsong, and lots of personal space to reflect and appreciate your life and your loved ones.
For more information about the Kepler Track, and to see how we explore it on our New Zealand Walking Tours simply request a free travel brochure below – or scroll down to see our trips.
Peace and quiet in the forest on the Kepler Track.
Meeting the New Zealand black robin on the Kepler Track.
Looking through the trees to the Waiau River from the Kepler Track.
Walking amongst the fern groves on the Kepler Track.