Kepler Track – Brod Bay to Luxmore Hut

The Kepler Track is one of the nine Great Walks of New Zealand.  Situated in Fiordland National Park, in the southwest of the South Island, it is a 60km loop track that has been developed and maintained by the Department of Conservation. Normally it takes three or four days to walk the track, carrying packs.  There are three huts along the way, provided for sleeping.  However sections can be walked as day tramps.

In late November, in warm and sunny conditions, and with our day packs, we completed a section of the walk, from Brod Bay to Luxmore Hut. It is a  tramp of 8.2km (each way) and an altitude gain of 675 metres.  It took us under six hours of walking (return), including some food/water stops and time to admire the views.

Kepler Track map (click to enlarge)

Map source : http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/southland/kepler-track-brochure.pdf

 

Water taxi at Te Anau

We began our day by catching the water taxi at 8.30am. It took us from the township of Te Anau across Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay, a ten minute trip.

 

Arriving at Brod Bay

 

The journey begins

 

Beech forest with an understory of ferns

 

 

Under limestone bluffs

The section between Brod Bay, past the bluffs and to the bushline took about two hours. Some of it is steep.  Once above the bushline it is a  more gentle slope to the hut.

 

View of  Lake Te Anau, looking north, from just above the bushline

 

Close to Luxmore Hut, looking across the South Fiord to the Murchison Mountains

 

Mountain daisy (celmisia)

 

First sight of Luxmore Hut

The Luxmore Hut is a 54-bunk hut situated at 1085 metres, built in 1988.

 

View from Luxmore Hut

 

Luxmore Cave

The Luxmore limestone cave is a ten minute walk from the hut.  Torches are essential for those who wish to explore.

 

 

Passing by Luxmore Hut again, views over the South Fiord and the Murchison Mountains

 

View of Te Anau township, on the return journey

 

Under the limestone bluffs again

 

Bush ferns

 

Unfurling fronds

 

Punga fern

 

Unfurling punga fern

 

Back at Brod Bay

 

Boarding water taxi for return to Te Anau at 4.30pm

 

Our GPS-tracked walk (click to enlarge)

Click here to see a moving version of our walk, on Relive.

Click here for a brochure on the complete Kepler Track.

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