Many hiking trails first came to be out of pure necessity. They follow old Maori trails or pioneer exploration routes. Their initial purpose was to take someone from A to B in the quickest way possible. The stunning scenery just happened to be an accidental bonus, and not the ‘raison d’être’ why man came stumbling along through the wilderness in the first place. In stark contrast, Fiordland’s Kepler Track was custom-made for pure hiking pleasure.
The Kepler is a 60km, 3 or 4 day point-to-point track that begins and ends in Te Anau, just out of town. The track is a curated compilation that offers hikers the absolute best of what Fiordland has to offer – the region’s ‘greatest hits’, so to speak.
The highlights of the Kepler are many. Explore the Luxmore Caves, its stalactites and stalagmites. Marvel at the wonderful alpine vistas, the rugged scenery of the tussock high country, deep gorges and tall mossy Beech Forests. Seize the opportunity to climb the peak of Mount Luxmore (1472 m) for a birds-eye-view of Lake Te Anau and the township. At night, listen to bountiful birdlife, including the sound of the morepork – a tiny owl – and, if you strike it lucky, the shrill whistles from the Brown Kiwi.