An interesting experience! We find it a little difficult initially, but we soon get the rhythm going. We go down to the lake and along to the golf course before heading back through the woods. Different! I can't see where I am going, sitting at the back, and there is one fairly steep downhill section which ends in a 3ft wide wooden bridge withoug hand rails. Decided to walk that bit. The girl in the rental place is surprised at how far we have managed to get in one hour. She also says she thinks we did remarkably well when we set off as some people don't even make it to the road before they fall off - or cycle into the table!
This is a fantastic 60km track that is part of the Department of Conservation's Great Walks Tracks.
The track is a large loop and can be accessed from either end and in fact can be split into day walks for the two end sections if you want. The best way to do this track is anti-clockwise, this allows you a more gradual (although relentless) climb up the 1,000 metres through beech forest to the bushline. The track is generally done in 3-4 days, although I did it in two full, gruelling days with an overnight stay at the Iris Burn Hut.
Doing it normally, day one would start at the control gate (or take a boat to Brod Bay to cut out a flat 5kms) and go 14kms to Luxmore Hut. A side detour time permitting is to climb Mt Luxmore. Day two is across the spectacular alpine section (14kms) and down into a valley for the Iris Burn hut and campsite. This section can be dangerous, you need to be aware of the weather, wind and snow conditions. Day 3, would be a 16km trek along a valley filled with beech forest to the Moturau Hut nestled along the shore of Lake Manapouri. The next day you can walk 6kms to rainbow creek (exit point) or continue another 10kms back to the control gates and finish point of the full circuit. The Kepler is a spectacular track and very very popular but receives less publicly than the Milford Track. I would actually recommend this one.
In the summer months (Nov-April) you must book the huts and campsites which can be done from the National Park Visitor Centre in TeAnau (ph 03-249 8514 for the great walks bookings). For transport or pickup at each end of the track, Tracknet offers shuttles (ph 03-249 7777
Fraser Beach is located in Manapouri.
You may park your car along the road and walk down to the beach.
There are lots of insects so spray some repellent before you get out of the car.
We have the whole beach to ourselves and we were busy posing photos with the beach and the sun is almost going to set.
Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland. It's a beautiful set on the shores of Lake Te Anau. We set up camp here for 4 nights so we could have a good look around Fiordland. The Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park was our base for this time. apart from the amazing night we spent on Doubtful Sound.
From here we did Doubtful Sound as mentioned, the Glow Worms and Milford Sound. There is plenty to see and do and the town was a great place to be with friendly people and excellent places to eat.
In tourist season Te Anau is bustling with people and activities. After booking into the holiday park we walked into the town centre for a look around and to grab a bite to eat.
We also spent some time re-arranging our itinerary at the local tourism kiosk. We had originally planned on staying 3 nights with only Doubtful Sound & the Glow Worms penciled in. But after speaking to very friendly and helpful staff we decided to do Milford Sound as well and stay an extra night. A decision we didnt regret.
From Te Anau there are many ways to explore Fiordland.......
By plane, helicopter, boat, car, bus and foot.
Te Anau - the gateway to Fiordland.
Te Anau is a small sleepy town that, after the hustle and bustle of frenetic Queenstown, is a bit of a haven. The town is a good place from which to base oneself for walks (tramps) into the Fiordland National Park. Even if you're less energetic, it is a good place from which to explore this part of Southland.