The Kepler Track, situated in Fiordland National Park, is a 67 km. multi-day hike. It’s one of the most scenic and diverse treks in New Zealand, traversing lake edges, beech forest, alpine mountain tops and a U-shaped glacial valley. My travel partner and I spend 3 days in these spectacular surroundings. In order to be able to free camp we carried all the necessary equipment ourselves, which made up a lot of weight on our shoulders, making it a challenging and strenuous walk in certain parts. However, coming out of the forest into the mountains, walking on clouds and accompanied by the rising sun on our 2nd day, there was no doubt: This hike is worth all the blood, sweat and tears – and every single step you take along the way.
Up there, on the mountains, there’s no outside world. No noise-pollution. No light-pollution. No past and future. No ego. All that’s left is the purest, most basic form of existence. And if you listen carefully to the sound of nature, speaking silently, you might just be lucky enough to hear that inner voice of yours, the only true guide in life. Seek comfort in solitude. Because the answers we’re pursuing are all to be found within ourselves. That’s why it feels like a homecoming wandering into high places, it being just as much an inner as well as outer journey.
“When the wind calls, you know, that somewhere in the mountains, it has found the answers that you were looking for. The pull of the horizon overcomes the inertia of reason…And you just have to go.”
The Route Map
Day 1: Rainbow Reach – Brod Bay
First challenge on the trek; traversing this old school hanging bridge.
Then the trail follows a lush, green forest.
Passing crystal clear rivers on the way.
And beautiful, little beaches.
Soon we’ll be walking above the clouds in the distance.
But before then, the deeper parts of the forest awaits.
Greener than Green.
Brod Bay Campsite.
We decided to walk on from the official campsite, to make our 2nd day easier.
Walking the day away.
At the end of the day, we passed these amazing limestone cliffs.
Finding our own private camp spot in the forest.
Day 2: Brod Bay – Iris Burn
Waking up on this beautiful spot, to the sound of our little neighbor singing outside. Can you spot him?
The adventure above the clouds has truly begun.
Coming from the dense forest to these wide, open spaces is such an amazing feeling.
Feeling at home.
The easy way doing the Kepler Track, would be to camp in a hut, but the prize is outrageous!
Breakfast above the clouds at Luxmore Hut.
Not far from Luxmore Hut there’s a small cave to explore.
The track starts climbing up towards Mt. Luxmore.
Panorama from Mt. Luxmore.
Mt. Luxmore is the highest point along the Kepler Track.
Kea, New Zealand’s cheeky, curious Mountain Parrot.
The infamous Kea flying on a mountain high.
After contemplating life on the top of Mt. Luxmore, the adventure above the clouds continues.
Green and lush describes the next part of the track.
Walking towards the glaciers.
Walking on a dream.
The trail resembling a ladder to the clouds.
Sunlight kisses the valley beneath.
Back into the forest.
A forest full of mystery and enchantment.
The life force of the valley.
Day 3: Iris Burn – Rainbow Reach
Waking up on Iris Burn Campsite to another amazing day.
Having breakie here by this stunning waterfall.
Walking through the Big Slip, a large slip caused by heavy rain.
Back in the gorgeous beech forest.
There’s something really enchanting about the forests on the Kepler Track.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the whole track, is walking through the lush forests.
I wonder if this will make me younger?
Traversing the last part of the forest to the sound of a rushing river.
The shore of beautiful Lake Manapouri.
A lonely beach.
The end is near…
We did it! Back to where we started.
“Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”