Hiking on the kepler track in Fiordland National park with trips and tramps

Get Inspired to Hike the Kepler Track with these Five Stunning photos!

19 Jul 2023

The Kepler Track is one of New Zealand Great Walks and offers some incredible, diverse landscapes.  We are very lucky to be on the track regularly, and year-round to capture the trail’s many vibes and ever-changing weather patterns. 

Whether you are looking at walking, or running the full 60 km, up for a heli hike, or just want a gentle stroll lakeside, get inspired with this collection of 5 photos from the summer of 2022-23 on the Kepler Track.

1.  Meet the mischievous kea!

Along the alpine ridgelines of the Kepler Track is home to the native kea.  These cheeky birds are highly entertaining but also taonga (natural treasure of the local people), and today are an endangered species.  On the Kepler Track juvenile kea regularly hang out at the Luxmore Hut and shelters along the trail.  To keep kea safe, never feed them and ensure you keep your belongings close to void temptations, this includes clothing, packs, food, and any brightly coloured objects. 

This photo was taken in May 2023 on a guided walk, as the snow starts to cover the trail and the keas have less people to check out.

man interacting with kea bird perched on bag on the Kepler Track with Trips and Tramps

Interactions with kea are always a highlight of the Kepler Track. Credit Madeleine Peacock.


2. Summer Feels

The alpine area of the Kepler Track is characterised by tussock herb fields, surrounded by an untouched mountain landscape, and the vast Lake Te Anau below.  Dotted along the trail, board walks protect the vegetation below and create a comfortable trail for us to follow. 
This photo captures guests walking down from Luxmore Hut on a beautiful summers’ day in December 2022.
two people walking on a wooden boardwalk on the Kepler Track with Trips and Tramps

What better way to get the summer feels with a walk on the Kepler Track in the sunshine?

3. Forest Canopy

Vast tracts of native forest frame the Kepler trail at lower altitudes, making for a stunning backdrop.  And the best thing is that this forest is easily accessible from Te Anau, you don’t even need to walk far to enjoy!  While you are there, take the time to look up into the canopy, dominated by ancient beech trees, and listen for the birdsong.  The best time to hike through the forest and capture amazing photographs on the Kepler Track is after the rain and on cloudy days, for this is when the forest comes alive.
large tree covered in green moss, reaching sky wards on the Kepler Track in Fiordland NZ

Beautiful, large trees on the Kepler Track stand tall around the trail. Credit Liz Newell4. Run with it! 

Beautiful, large trees on the Kepler Track stand tall around the trail. Credit Liz Newell4. Run with it! 

Trail running is always popular, and the Kepler Track makes for an ideal circuit, if this is your thing.  Though at 60 km long it is a big day out and not for the faint hearted! Annually the Kepler Challenge is run on the first Saturday of December and is billed as New Zealand’s premier Mountain run event.  Our small town of Te Anau gets right behind ever runner; from the elite looking at breaking the course record (currently held by Martin Dent in a time of 4:33:37), or those doing it for the personal challenge, who’s aim is to complete.
This is truly inspiring stuff and after the covid years, wonderful to see all go with no disruptions!
runner with hiking poles running above Lake Te Anau on the Kepler Track in the Kepler Challenge Mountain run

Runners take on the Kepler Challenge each year and complete the full track! Credit: Kepler Challenge.


5. Multiday Mission

With the Kepler Track so close to home we are very lucky to enjoy personal overnight missions, staying in the Department of Conservation (DOC) huts. Often the huts on the Kepler Track are available through last minute cancellations, so it’s worth checking, even if you previously missed out on a booking.  The ever-changing scenery, from alpine ridgelines to forest valleys, and impressive views in all directions, the Kepler Track is a hiking trail to inspire all travellers from near and far. 
My final choice for the top 5 photos of the summer of 22/23 is from my personal album.  Here is our 9-year-old DJ giving the Kepler Track a big thumbs up!
child with green jacket and backpack hiking on Kepler Track with moutains in the background, Great Walk NZ

The Kepler Track can offer special family time and a great experience staying in the DOC huts along the track.


At Trips & Tramps we love to inspire people to explore Fiordland, and we think the Kepler Track, a New Zealand Great Walk, is the best introduction to the area.  Whatever your idea of a 'walk in the park' looks like! 

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