Kepler Track Freedom Plus Itinerary
DAY 1: arrive in Te Anau
Stay the night in Te Anau and collect your track notes and camping kit.
DAY 2: Te Anau, Brod Bay, Luxmore Hut
Walk 5 – 6 hours, 8.2 km (4.9 m )
Take the water taxi across Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay. The track to the bushline starts about halfway along the beach and climbs steadily for about two hours to limestone bluffs, an ideal lunch stop. After another hour’s climb the bushline is reached, providing panoramic views of the Te Anau Basin, Takatimu Mountains, and the Snowdon and Earl Mountains.
The Luxmore Hut ( 1085m ) is about a 45 minute walk from the bushline. It has 2 bunk rooms with 55 bunks.
Optional side trip to the Luxmore Caves. Please leave your intentions at the hut and have a few light sources each.
DAY 3: Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut
Walk 5 – 6 hours / 14.6 km ( 8.8 m)
From Luxmore Hut the track climbs gradually to a ridge just below the summit of Mount Luxmore (1472m). A 10 minute side trip to the summit of Mount Luxmore provides excellent views.
The track then descends to a shelter close to the Forest Burn Saddle. The track sidles, climbs and then follows a ridge system for about two hours to the Hanging Valley Shelter.
A long, open ridge leads toward the Iris Burn and descends into a Hanging Valley. The track descends through forest to the Iris Burn Hut (497m). It has 5 bunk rooms with 50 bunks and 10 campsites.
For a pleasant evening stroll head up the valley for 20 minutes to Iris Burn Waterfall.
DAY 4: Iris Burn Hut, Te Anau
Walk 6 – 7 hours / 18.2km (10.9m)
A steady day’s tramp down through beech forest, riverside clearings and a gorge.
The track climbs over a low saddle and wanders through mixed forest. About two and a half hours from the Iris Burn Hut the track reaches Rocky Point, a work camp for track maintenance and a good place for a lunch stop
Below Rocky Point the track sidles through a gorge to come out on river flats
near the mouth of the Iris Burn. Nearing Lake Manapouri the track turns left
through lowland beech and podocarp forest. It follows the lake shore around Shallow
Bay to Moturau Hut, the track crosses a wetland and then the meandering Forest Burn then follows the Waiau River terrace to the swingbridge at Rainbow Reach.
The shuttle then takes you to Te Anau. Reasonably big day so an early start is the order of the day!
Accommodation in Te Anau at a backpackers is included in this package.
Luxmore, Iris Burn and Moturau Huts are public DOC Great Walk huts. Bookings are essential during summer. There is no power but there is lighting and heating in the main kitchen / dining area, flush toilets are in an outside ablution block, gas cooking facilities are provided during summer months. Bunk rooms have communal sleeping with mattresses provided.
The track is officially open ( Great Walks Season) from late October to late April. Outside of these dates there is no gas cooking available and no Hut Wardens and extreme winter conditions can occur at any time. Sorry in winter the Freedom Plus option is not available.
Te Anau has daily shuttle services from Queenstown and Invercargill. We are happy to help with transport arrangements.
A moderate to high level of fitness is required. To enjoy your walk you need to be able to walk for 4– 8 hours over 10– 19 km ( 6 – 12 miles ) each day. The track is a mixture of natural bush and mountain tracks. You do need carry your own packfrom hut to hut which is likely to be 8 to 12 kg.
Your Freedom Plus package includes 3 nights accommodation, track transport ex Te Anau and water taxi from Te Anau to Brod Bay.
The price per person is NZ$445 including GST. We do not recommend the track for children under 10. Prices are valid to 1 November 2013.