The Kepler Track

Walking the ridge on the Kepler Track

The Kepler Track

The Kepler track in Fiordland National Park in Southland, is one of New Zealand's most accessible 'Great Walks'. It begins near the small town of Te Anau, and boasts beautiful forests, unique wetlands, waterfalls and alpine mountain scenery. It is a 60Km loop track (although we found out the mileage varies depending upon which brochure you read) and you'll climb to 1400m at the highest point.

DoC classify it as a 'moderate/easy' 3-4 day tramping track. We walked...

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Te Araroa Trail Day 115. Riverton 2975.5kms – Bluff 3041kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 115 - At Bluff

I was up and out this morning to catch the minibus to Invercargill at 7.45am. It was an awful day in Southland - about 10 degrees celsius and very windy and rainy. I'm glad I made the decision to skip the 30km beach walk, and the further 30km walk along State Highway 1 to Bluff.

The minibus journey took about 40 minutes to Invercargill. From there I walked to the ISite where the bus went to Bluff. This new trial bus service started last week (runs until April) and it's $10pp one way. I...

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Te Araroa Trail Day 114. Colac Bay 2962.3kms – Riverton 2975.5kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 114 - Colac Bay

I slept in until 8am this morning, as I only had a short 15 Kms or so, to walk to Riverton.


Today's walk was very pleasant along Colac Bay to Riverton. It started with a short walk on the road beside the beach, then the beach itself. Thankfully it was low tide, so I could walk on the sand and didn't have to walk on the steeply shelved stony beach!
The trail then went up and over several headlands before going over Mores Scenic Reserve and into Riverton.

Riverton is an interesting...

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Te Araroa Trail Day 113. Martin’s hut 2932.8kms – Colac Bay 2962.3kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 113 - Colac Bay

I woke at 6am and snuggled in my sleeping bag for while, delaying getting up for as long possible, as it was so cold! When I did, I managed to make my breakfast and cup of tea from the comfort and warmth of my sleeping bag. I left at 7.20am along the Cascades track, which led into the winding Ports Water Race track. The Ports Water Race (now a big ditch running to the side of the path) was built to supply water during gold mining times. It was abandoned in 1950.

The trail was pretty easy...

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Te Araroa Trail Day 112. Merriview hut 2904.1kms – Martin’s hut 2932.8kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 112 - Martin's hut

Laura and I got up at around 6am. I had hot oats for breakfast as it was raining again outside, and I wanted to be warmed up for today's trail. I had left my wet clothes on the line outside under the verandah to 'dry' overnight, and by morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were only damp and not soaking. Even so, I left it until the last possible minute to get changed out of my lovely warm nightwear into cold damp daywear. Within a couple of minutes I was warm again, as the...

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Te Araroa Trail Day 111. Birchwood Station 2877.7kms – Merriview hut 2904.2kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 111 - Birchwood to Merriview hut

I got a great night's sleep last night. It was really nice to have a proper bed in the little hut. It rained constantly throughout the night, and hadn't let up by the morning, and wasn't going to stop all day. I was in two minds about what to do. Should I stay a day in the hut or push on?? But it wasn't very windy, so I decided to walk the 26kms to Merrivale in the rain.

I left at 9.20am. Around 2.5 hours later I regretted my decision a little. Everything I was wearing was wet. I'd...

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