Tramping on the Kepler Track
The Kepler Track is one of New Zeland's "Great Walks" - a circuit that loops around the ridges opposite Te Anau in Fiordland. After doing the Milford, the Kepler was the next hike, as both can be done based out of Te Anau. It features beautiful mountains, caves, Kea, and lush forests.
Te Anau to Luxmore Hut
The first day starts at the Kepler Track trail head, just outside Te Anau. The first few Km of the walk leads you along the shores of Lake Te Anau, then turning to ascend up the hill to Luxmore Hut. The view once I excited the treeline was spectacular back over the lake and town.
As it was a sunny day, I went and visited the Luxmore Caves (crawled into the third wee cavern to take a look), and then another couple of hours up to the summit of Mount Luxmore. Glad I did for the view! The sunset back at Luxmore Hut was beautiful, casting light through the mountains and onto the lakeshore opposite.
Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut
The next day was more overcast, leading to beautiful dappled light on the mountains as the sun broke through the clouds. The ridge walk was the main event of the day, with spectacular views. Luckily we were spared strong winds, so the walk was easy.
We then descended to Iris Burn Hut, through the trees. I took the side route to the waterfalls for a dip in the pool, spotting the endangered Whio Blue Duck and ducklings on the way back to the hut.
Iris Burn Hut to Te Anau via Moturau Hut
The last day I combined days three and four of the official route into one. I walked 30km from Iris Burn back to Te Anau, through the lush beech forests. It was a warm day, so took a dip in the lake at Moturau. An excellent end to the walk.