Hiking the Kepler Track in March

By Ziggy Dukes

3 minute read

Get hold of your free New Zealand Trails brochure here

March is the first month of the New Zealand Autumn, and the Kepler Track is the place to go if you’re still chasing those vibrant green hues and filtered forest sun.

It’s also a great time to visit if you’re wanting to miss those busy summer crowds and enjoy a bit more solitude on your hike through the rainforest.

Read on to find out what you can expect from the Kepler track in the month of March!

2. Guests walking Kepler Track through beech forest

Wander the ancient beech forest of the Kepler Track.

Crowd levels and accommodation bookings

The Kepler Track is one of those tracks that books out months in advance due to its reputation as a Great Walk. And, the GREAT news about this Great Walk is that the huts (which still need to be booked for your stay during March) start to free up as hikers’ plans change.

You can expect less hikers on the track than the previous Dec/Jan/Feb months due to the holiday season being officially over and the change in season. The trade-off is marginally colder temperatures and, in all fairness, the chance of rain is pretty much the same as summer!


If you’re comparing the two shoulder seasons - Autumn vs Spring, Autumn is definitely the more temperate option, but can be a roll of the dice at times.

The great thing about Autumn’s changeable weather is you’ll get opportunities to see carpets of rain-enhanced moss and perhaps some clear days for great views of mighty mountain vistas!

Kepler weather in March:

Kepler Track March Temps

Average temperatures in March.

What to pack - Prepare for all seasons!

It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you go, and at this time of year, also a great idea to prepare for some cold weather. So, along with your usual light hiking gear - shirts, shorts, hats – it’s time to start thinking about:

  • A couple of extra top and bottom base layers (merino or polyprop is good!)
  • A beanie, gloves and a buff
  • Waterproof overtrousers, if you like to wear them
  • A decent raincoat - gore-tex or similar
  • Alpine hiking socks
  • A down jacket


  • Lightweight but hearty meals, like Backcountry Cuisine
  • At least 1 litre of water (you can boil water at huts to refresh your drinking water each day)
  • Powdered electrolytes in case of dehydration
  • Muesli bars
  • Fruit

Hot tip: take cup-a-soups as an easy way to warm yourself from the inside, sachet coffee works well too!


  • Consider taking a jet-boiler, or similar small gas cooker
  • Hiking poles, if you like to use them
  • A tent, if you’re camping
  • Sleeping bag and liner (for extra warmth!)
  • Headtorch

Also, check out our comprehensive packing list for more!


Your main costs for this track will be your transport to and from the track, DoC hut/campsite fees, hotel/motel fees if you choose to stay in Te Anau before and/or after, and food.

Check out March’s DoC hut/campsite pricing below (per person, per night):

Kepler Track March DoC pricing

DoC pricing on the Kepler in March.

And here are our estimates for everything else (per person)!

Kepler Track March Other costs

Additional costs.

And there you have it, all the info you need to get started on planning your unforgettable Kepler adventure. If you’re not a fan of logistics though, we’ve love to plan, and we’ve got you covered!

For a taster of five of our Great Walks Trails across five days - check out our Great Walk Adventure, where you’ll take a helicopter into Luxmore Hut on the Kepler track and your super-guide will lead you down - a true highlight for many of our visitors!

Our Masterpiece, Kiwi Classic and Pure South trips all spend a day on the Kepler as well as a day in the nearby Milford Sound.

There are so many ways to experience Kepler Track - it’s up to you how you do it!

Are you looking to have your own New Zealand adventure on the Kepler Track? Find out more about the trips we run in our FREE BROCHURE HERE


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