Between Sunday the 19th Tuesday the 21st of February, 2023, I hiked the Kepler Track on New Zealand's South Island. I started at the Rainbow Reach Car Park and left towards Brod Bay at 3PM. It was drizzling on and off while I hiked. The trail to Broad Bay was almost completely flat.
The next morning, I left towards Luxmore Hut. On the way I saw Kea, a mountain parrot. After stopping there to eat lunch outside, I went to Luxmore Cave. The cave quickly became narrow and required crawling. I didn't go too deep into the cave. From there I went to the summit of Mount Luxmore. The wind was quite strong at the top and in the surrouding area.
After leaving the summit of Mount Luxmore, I headed towards Iris Burn Campsite. On the way I went to some lookouts. Most of the way was downhill. I eventually stopped at a small bridge and dunked myself in the water of a waterfall. Once I arrived at Iris Burn Campsite, I set up my tent and went to Iris Burn Falls. This waterfall had a deep pool to swim in and was rather powerful. The area around the waterfall had an intense amount of sandflies.
The next morning I departed back toward Rainbow Reach. On the way I stopped at Cozy Cove and Moturau Hut. I moved quickly and ended up returning back to my van around 2PM. In total I went over 41 miles, gaining over 7,700 feet in elevation in under 48 hours.
The Kepler Track provides views of New Zealand's Fiordland. There are mountain views, lakes, waterfalls and even a cave. As with most Great Walks in New Zealand, doing the side hikes, which are each about 5-20 minutes out of the way, add much to the hike. The first and last days were mostly in forests and had little to no views.
If staying in a tent, Broad Bay and Iris Burn are the only two official campsites. One can camp 500 meters off of the track in certain areas but there are no facilities there.
Overall, Kepler Track has many views to offer. They are almost all confined to the area around Mount Luxmore, however.
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