Marc's Public Blog - Hiking / Backpacking


All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Flying | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Monuments | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips

This is a collection of my blog entries about hiking
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for the more recent trips that I have recorded in blog entries

>>> Back to post index <<<

2019/01/15 Kepler Track
π 2019-01-15 01:01 in Hiking
After finishing the Routeburn track just a day prior, the plan was to go back to Te Anau and do the Kepler in 2 days. I had found by then that the DOC definitely stretches the time you really need to do those tracks. They recommend 3 to 4 days and I ended up doing the Kepler in a day and a half with still a moderate pack (10kg when light could probably have been 5kg given that you don't have to bring a tent, or sleeping pad, or gas). I was carrying a bit more necessary mostly in gadgets and extra clothes (layers) I ended up not needing, but that in Fiordland are always a good idea given how changeable the weather can be.

Jennifer was sadly still battling a cold and resulting poor sleep, so she took the time off and stayed in Queenstown to rest while I did the track. As a result, I just took the convenient tracknet bus to Te Anau which saved me over 4H of driving (return) and removed the need for any rental car.
When I arrived in Te Anau the day before my departure, the bus barely arrived in time for me to pick up my permit at the DOC and look at their exhibits again (I had a faint recollection from our trip on the Milford track some years back).

the kakapo is so cute, but critically endangered (about 130 birds left in the world)
the kakapo is so cute, but critically endangered (about 130 birds left in the world)

The kepler track was able to do a better job killing most of the mammals that eat the native birds and their eggs, which means it has a lot more bird life:


there were plenty of these on the track
there were plenty of these on the track


After getting my DOC hut permit (and sadly losing all the money for Jennifer's due to their non generous cancellation policy on a sold out track, I'm not sure if they tried to give the permit to someone else or not), I went to the nearby bird sanctuary to check out birds that would be easier to find :)






I spent the rest of the day in Te Anau and got an early night:




The next morning, with good weather in the forecast, I went bright and early. I got dropped off at the track start by 06:30, and got started around 06:45 when it wsa still overcast. I started early because the first day ended up being 36km with the side trips, making a long day (a bit over 12H) out of a massive 15H of sunlight.



Here is what the track looks like: -




I got in Brod Bay in no time, where a few peole were camping
I got in Brod Bay in no time, where a few peole were camping

Then was time to go inland and uphill through the forest with some nice birds:




I got a tui to make fun noises for me
I got a tui to make fun noises for me


I finally got to the top ridge in the middle of clouds, thankfully the sun burned through while I waited a short while:



the peaks started showing up slowly
the peaks started showing up slowly





eventually got to luxmore hut
eventually got to luxmore hut


the added pads in the room very packed together, must suck to sleep with so many people in the same room
the added pads in the room very packed together, must suck to sleep with so many people in the same room

I went to nearby luxmore cave. I went as deep as I could before I could not fit through holes anymore while still wearing my fanny pack. Having gloves would have been nicer for my hands on the rough ground:












eventually got back out after about 1H
eventually got back out after about 1H

I went back on the track since I still had a long distance to Iris Burn:

those pretty fearless birds were all over the track
those pretty fearless birds were all over the track


by the time I came back, the fog/clouds had fully lifted
by the time I came back, the fog/clouds had fully lifted



interesting rocky ground lifted up and cracked
interesting rocky ground lifted up and cracked

with picture perfect weather, I went from peak view to peak view
with picture perfect weather, I went from peak view to peak view

eventually got to luxmore peak, an easy climb
eventually got to luxmore peak, an easy climb




emergency weather hut
emergency weather hut


I ran into a googl gfit personal trainer from Isreal :)
I ran into a googl gfit personal trainer from Isreal :)

more views
more views

the 2nd hut had keas waiting to steal food from you
the 2nd hut had keas waiting to steal food from you




instead of having it destroy my pack to steal my food, I just gave it some :)
instead of having it destroy my pack to steal my food, I just gave it some :)


last peak view
last peak view

After the last peak, I did a long set of switchbacks down to Iris Burn (they must suck on the way up):




lovely birds
lovely birds

eventually made it to Iris Burn in 10.5H or so (plus the 1H detour to Luxmore cave)o
eventually made it to Iris Burn in 10.5H or so (plus the 1H detour to Luxmore cave)o

I arrived by 18:12; total was 33.6km in 11.3h. After quickly selecting the last bunk in a smaller room with fewer people, I went to the waterfall:


the waterfall was not fantastic, but eh, it was closeby :)
the waterfall was not fantastic, but eh, it was closeby :)

the way back had lots of birds, here a fantail
the way back had lots of birds, here a fantail


the fearless NZ robin
the fearless NZ robin

I then spent a bit of time in the hut, listening to the ranger's talk, a quick dinner, and time for well deserved sleep after more than 13H on my feet and 36km walked total:





our ranger for the night
our ranger for the night

The next morning, I went to check the nearby river to see if the elusive NZ ducks were here, but they were not, so I went for my day2 hike:



these robins were all over the track, checking us out
these robins were all over the track, checking us out


valley back down to the river
valley back down to the river


robins came back to check out my feet
robins came back to check out my feet



eventually made it to Moturau hut in just 4h13 at a moving average of 5.4km/h
eventually made it to Moturau hut in just 4h13 at a moving average of 5.4km/h






final bridge to rainbow reach carpark which I got in just 6H, including a lunch stop
final bridge to rainbow reach carpark which I got in just 6H, including a lunch stop

yeah, done! :)
yeah, done! :)

took an earlier tracknet bus back to Te Anau
took an earlier tracknet bus back to Te Anau

still managed to get a bit of sun despite sunscreen :)
still managed to get a bit of sun despite sunscreen :)

See more images for Kepler Track

More pages: April 1999 June 2000 August 2003 March 2006 May 2006 July 2006 November 2006 May 2007 July 2007 August 2007 July 2008 May 2009 July 2009 June 2010 November 2010 July 2011 September 2012 June 2013 October 2014 January 2015 February 2015 August 2015 October 2015 July 2016 August 2017 September 2017 May 2018 January 2019 June 2019

>>> Back to post index <<<