The Kepler Track is one of New Zealand's 9 Great Walks. Great Walks are more maintained and clearly marked than other hiking trails in the country. They offer a diverse look into the stunning landscapes of New Zealand in an easy-to-access way.
Starting just outside Te Anau on the edge of the incredible Fiordland National Park, the Kepler Track is an intermediate-level tramp. The entire Kepler Track loop is 60km which typically takes 1-3 nights, or you can just head out for a day trip. The section from the carpark to Luxmore Hut will wind up through dense rainforest before coming out above the tree line to 360 degree mountain and sound views.
KEPLER TRACK TO LUXMORE HUT HIKE DETAILS
When: October-April unless you are well-prepared for winter tramping
Where: hike starts at the Kepler Track Car Park, a 5km walk or drive from Te Anau (this will make your hike 35km)
Difficulty: intermediate; the middle section is the steepest
Length: signs say give yourself 5-6 hours each way but that "fit trampers can cut this time in half". For reference, I completed the entire return-trip of 25km in 5 hours total.
Directions: from the Kepler Track Car Park, cross over to the Control Gates and follow the very clear trail with orange markers as it winds along the lake. About 1/3 of the way in to your hike, switch-backs start. 2/3 of the way, you will pass the tree line and the final stretch is a relatively flat path along the mountain top to Luxmore Hut.
Bathrooms: yes, at the carpark, at various points along the first 1/3 along the beach and at Luxmore Hut
Public Transit: no; you can either walk or drive to the car park from Te Anau