Submitted by Kieran Philip
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Back country - remote
Native bushRiversideLakesideOpen ridges/tops
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The Kepler is one of the "Great Walks". You start just out of Te Anau, off Golf Course Rd. Head across the Control Gates and keep going straight. Follow the track - this is easy as it is like a highway - along to Brod Bay. Head up to Luxmore Hut, a good solid climb and then keep going past Luxmore Hut and up to the highest point on the track. Before Luxmore Hut there is a side track off to the limestone caves which are worth a look if you have the time. After the hut, near the highest point is an optional side track up to the top of Mt Luxmore to nab the trig there and get a great photo! The track heads along the ridgeline for the next five kilometers. It then drops down to Iris Burn Hut - another nice side track if you have time is up the waterfalls off to your right of the track. After Iris Burn Hut you are on the way home, head down the valley to meet Lake Manapouri and then follow the Waiau River back towards the start. There is the option of bailing at Rainbow Reach if you'd like, which would shorten the run to about 50km, but you'd need transport back to your car.
Features of interest
Limestone caves, great views of surrounding areas, trigs to bag, ridges to run along, waterfall, peat bog - so much to offer!
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 5%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 85%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
Head South from Te Anau, towards Manapouri. Turn onto Golf Course Rd and then you will see the carpark and trail head as you go along this road.
Parking in available in carpark at the end of the track, would pay to take valuables with you as car park is pretty remote and could be targeted by unpleasant people.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.
Water available at the DOC huts - Luxmore, Iris Burn and Motarau.
Covered in snow during winter months and multiple avalanche paths you have to cross. Worth consulting with DOC office in Te Anau before giving it a go in winter conditions.
Can be very windy on ridgeline so care is needed not be blown off at times. General trip hazards you would expect on tracks.
Post run indulgence
9 The Lane, Te Anau 9600
Good coffee Good Food Need I say more?
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See other runs nearby:
Lake Marian Meander
Whisky Trail and Routeburn
Caples Track - The Divide Version
South Mavora Lake Trail
Waiau River Loop
Deepest Darkest George
Henry the Hooligan!
Tour de Milford Haven
Te Anau Foreshore Trail
The Hollyford: Out and Back to Alabaster
Hollyford Road - Routeburn Loop via Deadmans and Pass Creek