HikeSouth: 4 day/3 night Kepler Track Walk - Freedom Plus
Kepler Track – Freedom Plus
Starting and ending near Te Anau, the track carves a loop on to Mt Luxmore and the Kepler range, down to the Iris Burn and through hanging valleys to Lake Manapouri.
- 1 nights budget accommodation in Te Anau,
- 2 nights on the trail,
- water taxi from Te Anau to Brod Bay,
- shuttle from Rainbow Reach to Te Anau.
What to Bring:
First thing is make sure you have well worn good fitting boots or tramping shoes.
Suggested list of what to bring;
Pair of shorts, trousers.
Thick woolen or fleece top.
Thermal long johns and shirt.
Socks, underwear and handkerchief.
Small towel or flannel.
Warm hat and light gloves.
Waterproof coat with hood. Favourite boots or walking shoes.
Pair of light shoes or sandals.
Pack with waterproof liner.
Small personal torch, water bottle.
Personal medicine, toilet bag
Insect repellent, sunblock.
Camera and film.
Some people like gaiters and others use walking sticks.
Freedom Walk customers need to add a sleeping bag and kitchen equipment to the list above except on the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track where the huts have a full compliment of cooking and kitchen equipment available. Gas cookers are also provided on the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler tracks.
Accommodation in Te Anau at a backpackers is included in this package.
Luxmore, Iris Burn and Moturau Huts are public DOC Great Walk huts. Bookings are essential during summer. There is no power but there is lighting and heating in the main kitchen / dining area, flush toilets are in an outside ablution block, gas cooking facilities are provided during summer months. Bunk rooms have communal sleeping with mattresses provided.
A moderate level of fitness is required. To enjoy your walk you need to be able to walk for 4– 7 hours over 9 – 12 km ( 5 - 7 miles ) each day. The track is a mixture of natural bush and mountain tracks. You do need carry your own pack from lodge to lodge which is likely to be 7 to 12 kg.
Children aged 17 and under and must be accompanied by an adult. Multi day tracks are not typically recommended for children under 10.
DAY 1: Arrive in Te Anau Stay the night at Lakefront Backpackers in Te Anau. Collect your Great Walks pass and trail map from Department of Conservation (DoC) office, Lakefront Drive Te Anau.
DAY 2: Te Anau, Brod Bay, Luxmore Hut
Walk 5 - 6 hours, 8.2 km (4.9 m )
Water taxi across Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay. The track starts about halfway along the beach and climbs steadily for about three hours to the bushline. Panoramic views of the Te Anau Basin, Takatimu Mountains, the Snowdon and Earl Mountains. The Luxmore Hut ( 1085m ) is about a 45 minute walk from the bushline. Optional side trip to the Luxmore Caves.
DAY 3: Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut
Walk 5 - 6 hours / 14.6 km ( 8.8 m)
Climb gradually to a ridge just below the summit of Mount Luxmore (1472m). A 10 minute side trip to the summit of Mount Luxmore provides excellent views. Descends to a shelter close to the Forest Burn Saddle. The track sidles, climbs and then follows a ridge system for about two hours to the Hanging Valley Shelter. A long, open ridge leads toward the Iris Burn and descends into a Hanging Valley through forest to the Iris Burn Hut (497m).
DAY 4: Iris Burn Hut, Rainbow Reach, Te Anau
Walk 6 - 7 hours / 18.2km (10.9m) A steady day’s tramp down through beech forest, riverside clearings and a gorge. Below Rocky Point the track sidles through a gorge to river flats. Nearing Lake Manapouri the track turns left through lowland beech and podocarp forest, follows the lake shore around Shallow Bay to Moturau Hut then follows the Waiau River terrace to the swingbridge at Rainbow Reach. The shuttle then takes you to Te Anau. Reasonably big day so an early start is the order of the day!
Departure Dates: From late October to April we have regular departures that depend on availability and schedule of services. Great Walks season is from 26th October 2009 to 26th April 2010 and 27th October 2010 to 26th April 2011
Te Anau has daily shuttle services from Queenstown and Invercargill. We are happy to help with transport arrangements.
Transport sectors for the Kepler Track Freedom Plus
- Water Taxi from Te Anau to Brod Bay: Departs 9:30am from wharf behind Te Anau i-site
- Bus from Rainbow Reach to Te Anau: Departs Rainbow Reach at 5:00pm.