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Walking tracks in Fiordland

Kepler Track

Kepler Track” by docnz is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Get off of the beaten track on your next Fiordland adventure and enjoy some of the most scenic walks in the world.

Short walks in Fiordland

While New Zealand is known for its Great Walks, there are so many shorters walks you can enjoy at your leisure. Here are just a few found in the Fiordland region.

Leaving from the Fiordland National Park Visitor centre:

To Wildlife Park
Duration: 10 minutes

Here you will find aviaries that house a wide variety of birds. The pens themselves are set among beautiful grounds with unencumbered views of the lake. Native birds here enjoy the trees. You can also feed the ducks below the boardwalk by the lake.

To Ivon Wilson Park
Duration: 15 minutes

Ivon Wilson Park is a 35 hectare plantation packed with native and exotic trees. On this walk there are several paths leading off to Lake Henry which is stocked to bursting with rainbow and brown trout. It is also a children’s fishery! Wet your line and let your young ones bring home dinner.

Note: You will need a permit to fish from the small lake, but this is very easy to obtain from the nearby Department of Conservation Visitor Centre

To the Rodeo Grounds
Duration: 30 minutes

One of the easier walks to locate, simply follow the Te Anau lakeshore. Continue along the footpath to the boat harbour at Bluegum Point.

If you’re looking for something a little more challenging or a little bit further out of town, why not give this one a go:

Key Summit

Duration: 3 hours return

This three-hour return hike offers a small taste of the Routeburn Track, considered one of the most scenic of New Zealand’s Great Walks.

This walk starts from Milford Sound Road and climbs steadily to the summit walkway. Here, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of Fiordland National Park’s towering mountains, deep valleys and waterfalls. Learn how the region was sculpted with information boards outlining Fiordland’s fascinating geographical history.

New Zealand’s Great Walks

If you’re feeling brave and have a few days to spare, you’re in the right place. Take a Great Walk!

Three of New Zealand’s Nine Great Walks are right here in Fiordland. Use the following table to match your experience level and time availability to schedule your walk.

Kepler Track Milford Track Routeburn Track
Length/time 60 km
3-4 days, circuit
Walk either direction
53.5 km
4 days, one way
One direction only
32 km
2-4 days, one way
Walk either direction
Ease of access Nearest town – Te Anau –      (5 km from track end, approx. 50 mins walk)

Starts and finishes in same location

Transport options available (bus or boat to Brod Bay)

Nearest town – Te Anau –  (27 km to start,120 km from end)

93 km by road between start/finish, boat required both ends

Transport options available (bus, boat)

Nearest towns – Queenstown  (68 km to track end) and Te Anau (85 km to track end)

350 km by road between start/finish.

Transport options available (bus)

Facilities
  • Campsites available
  • Approx. 6 hrs between huts
  • Highest hut (Luxmore)
  • No camping
  • Approx. 6 hrs between huts
  • Campsites available
  • Approx. 2-6 hrs between huts
Difficulty
  • Longest of the 3 tracks
  • Need moderate fitness
  • Steeper, higher climb and descent overall
  • Highpoint 1472 m (incl. 10 min summit side trip)
  • Mid-length of the 3 tracks
  • Need moderate fitness
  • Gradual climb and descent
  • Highpoint 1154 m
  • Shortest of the 3 tracks
  • Need moderate fitness
  • Gradual climb and descent
  • Highpoint 1255 m
About the experience
  • Long section above bush line (ridge; 4-5 hrs)
  • Beech-forested lakesides, wetland, mountain views and peak climb
  • Expect to see other parties but less so. Guided groups only allowed for day walks from either track end.
  • Short walk above bush line (mountain pass)
  • Steep-sided glacial valleys, over alpine pass, superb waterfalls in rain
  • Expect to see other parties including guided groups, but all walk one direction only. Book well ahead in peak season.
  • Long section above bush line (saddle, ridge; 5-6 hrs)
  • Crosses Alps, forested valleys, alpine meadows and tarns
  • Expect to see other parties including guided groups, both directions.

Table Credit: http://www.doc.govt.nz

As you can see, whether you are in the mood for a leisurely afternoon stroll or a 4 day trek, Fiordland has what you’re looking for. Get trekking!

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