Hiking the Kepler Track in February
By Ziggy Dukes
3 minute read
Get hold of your free New Zealand Trails brochure here
February is one of the most popular times to walk the Kepler Track. Just like January, the days are long, the weather is good (knock on wood!), and it usually only rains 9-10 days within the month.
It’s the perfect time for people who want to soak in the sunlight while meeting other hikers on this beautiful 60km (37 miles) Great Walk in Fiordland National Park.
Keep on reading to learn more about February's conditions.
Across the 60km (37 miles) hike you’ll explore lush beech forest, diverse swampland and picturesque shorelines. You’ll also be treated to spectacular views of Lake Te Anau, Lake Manapouri, the Murchison Mountains and Jackson Peaks. Best of all, the track’s a circuit so it’s super easy to plan for compared to some of the other Great Walks that are one-way.
You can start the Kepler Track from either Rainbow Reach or the Kepler Carpark, both are less than a 15-minute drive from Te Anau - where most hikers will base themselves before and after their walk.
As well as driving yourself, daily shuttles run from Te Anau to the trailhead with prices starting from about $20 return or you can jump onboard a water taxi from Te Anau to Brod Bay for about $40 return.
Regular buses also run from Queenstown to Te Anau from about $40 one way.
Crowd levels and accommodation
Expect the track to be at its busiest. Hut availability for last-minute bookings is scarce in February, so be sure to book at least a few months in advance for the best chance at securing a spot in one of the three huts on the track.
Campsites however are usually always available and there are two on the circuit - Iris Burn and Brod Bay. Staying exclusively at campsites means you’ll have to do bigger days walking, but the upside is, you’ll sleep well!
See below for pricing, and make your booking through the Department of Conservation (DoC).
While February is generally the hottest month on the track, it’s always a good idea to prepare for all conditions. Part of the track heads into an alpine environment, and while breathtaking, can change in an instant.
Along with the basics, we recommend the following:
For cold weather, rain and wind:
- Waterproof rain jacket (Goretex or similar)
- Good base layers (polyprop or merino)
- Beanie and gloves
For hot weather:
- Consider powdered electrolytes to keep hydrated!
Check out the table below for February temperatures.
What’s on in February
If you’re looking for a bit of high-octane entertainment, February is a great month in Fiordland for adventure races including GodZone (Feb 23 - Mar 4) and the Milford Mountain Classic (Feb 18).
Te Anau is usually a visitor base for these types of events, and locals often join the crowds in cheering on the adventure athletes, making for an electric atmosphere!
There are also some great options locally including kayaking, the Te Anau Glowworm Caves and jet boating.
You could also consider making the 2-hour trip to Milford Sound – there aren’t many accommodation options there – however, you could consider adding in a bit of luxury after your hike on the Kepler, by taking an overnight cruise.
What are you waiting for?
Kepler Track is the perfect summer adventure. Our Masterpiece, Kiwi Classic, and Pure South trips have each included it in their itineraries as it is positively a must-see. An added bonus is that while we take care of the logistics, you get to see the Kepler and so many more incredible South Island tracks. Get in touch, we’d love to show you around!
If you'd like to find out more about the trips we run so you can enjoy your own New Zealand adventure request a copy of your FREE BROCHURE today!
Let’s talk – we’d love to hear what you think. Pop your details in below and have your say.
No one has commented on this page yet.
RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments