Fiordland Day Walks | Tracknet Transport
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Bookings are now open for the 2023/2024 Great Walks Season! The Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Track Transport Packages and Sector Transport can now be booked online.

Fiordland Unguided Day Walks and Hikes - Transport

You don't need to embark on a multi-day hike to enjoy the Fiordland wilderness. One of the best things to do in Te Anau is to get away from it all and enjoy a day walk on one of the many accessible walking tracks. There are short walks on well-formed tracks, through to full-day adventures that will take you to the top of a mountain and beyond. There is something suitable for all fitness levels and timings. Don't let the rain put you off! What could be better than a stroll through a rainforest on a rainy day to make you feel alive? Here are a few of the most popular walks, but feel free to ask a local about what they would recommend.

Important notice: While on the track, you are responsible for your safety, need to be self-sufficient for the day and be prepared with appropriate clothing, food, and footwear for the conditions. Note that there are some locations where you cannot get mobile phone reception. You must manage your time to ensure you are in the correct place 15 minutes before your departure time to meet the return bus.
Female hiker on top of a rocky outcrop gazing into the distance at the sheer rocky mountains

Key Summit – The Divide

Walking Duration: The Divide to Key Summit is 3 to 4 hours return, or the Divide to Howden Hut and Lake Howden is also 3 to 4 hours return.

This walk begins on the initial stages of the Routeburn Track. It has a 400-metre accent through beech forest and continues to rise above the tree-line, arriving on the tussock-clad tops of Key Summit to an alpine world of unique vegetation, tarns, and 360-degree views. The Key Summit section of the track is a popular Alpine Tarn high in the Fiordland Mountains. At Key Summit, snowy peaks, the vast forested valleys, and perfect alpine gardens are all rewards for your efforts. Subject to walking timings, you may also have time to visit Lake Howden on your journey. There are earlier departure times and later pick-up times if you want to spend more time on the Track.

The Key Summit is a well-formed hiking track, however, walkers should still be aware of roots, streams, and other obstacles. A medium level of fitness is recommended.

Transport Options:

Price for transport is $85.00 per adult return (Te Anau to The Divide and back to Te Anau)

  • 7:15am or 9:45 am bus from Te Anau to The Divide
  • 3:15 pm or 5:45pm return bus from The Divide to Te Anau

Please Note: Buses from Te Anau to The Divide take approximately 1 hour

Female hiker crossing the Waiau river on the swingbridge at Rainbow Reach, Kepler Track

Rainbow Reach to Shallow Bay or Motu-rau Hut

Walking Duration: 3 to 4 hours return

Price $19.00 per person, each way (Te Anau to Rainbow Reach or vice versa)

Te Anau to Rainbow Reach 9:30am 2:20pm 3:40pm* 20mins
Rainbow Reach to Te Anau 10:00am 3:00pm 4:00pm* 20mins

To access this part of the Kepler Track, cross the Swingbridge beside the Rainbow Reach car park and follow the Waiau river as it flows downstream. The track is gently undulating and wanders through mountain beech forest with some great river views. Some scenes from The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed near this part of the river. See the Department of Conservation's Lord of the Rings filming location page which gives you coordinates to find the locations. Further along, cross a kettle bog then continue to the shores of Lake Manapouri. The Motu-rau and Shallow Bay Huts are near Manapouri's lakeshore and offer shelter and toilet facilities.

Tracknet transport is at Rainbow Reach to return to Te Anau at 10:00am and 3:00pm daily during the Great Walks Season, regardless of bookings. For the 4.00pm service, bookings are essential as we only run with confirmed bookings.

A narrow trail winding through green mossy forest of Fiordland National Park

Walk between Rainbow Reach and Te Anau

Walking Duration: 15 kilometres or 3.5 - 4.5 hours one way

Price $19 one way (Te Anau to Rainbow Reach or vice versa)

Te Anau to Rainbow Reach 9:30am 2:20pm 3:40pm* 20mins
Rainbow Reach to Te Anau 10:00am 3:00pm 4:00pm* 20mins

From Te Anau, follow the walking track at the South end of Lake Te Anau around to Punanga Manu o Te Anau (Te Anau Bird Sanctuary) and around the lake's edge onto the Kepler Car Park. Crossing over the Control Gate structure, the track then follows the terraces of the Waiau River along the Kepler Track through silver and mountain beech forest to Rainbow Reach. Here there is a swingbridge to cross over the Waiau River to the Rainbow Reach Carpark. Shuttle buses are available, please check timetables before departing. Along this walk, there are areas of mānuka shrubland, lovely views of the forest and river, and good trout fishing opportunities (must have a current fishing licence) along this track section.

Tracknet transport is at Rainbow Reach to return to Te Anau at 10:00am and 3:00pm daily during the Great Walks Season, regardless of bookings. For the 4.00pm service, bookings are essential as we only run with confirmed bookings.

Sunrise vista of the view from Mount Luxmore looking down into the South Arm of Lake Te Anau

Mount Luxmore Hut

Walking Duration: Control Gates Carpark to Luxmore Hut and return is 28 kilometres or 8-10 hours return

Price for Transport Te Anau to Control Gates Carpark is $10.00 per person each way

Walk part of the Kepler Track and be rewarded with fantastic views from atop Mount Luxmore. Begin at the Control Gates Carpark and walk around the shores of Lake Te Anau, past the picturesque beaches of Dock Bay and Brod Bay. From here the track takes a steady ascent through beech forest, past the limestone cliffs, and to Mount Luxmore's bush line. Continue across the alpine tussock areas to the Luxmore Hut. You are able to stay overnight at the Luxmore Hut, but pre-bookings are essential during the Great Walks season. You can book hut tickets at the Department of Conservation.

Shorten your walk - take a Boat transfer from Te Anau to Brod Bay and return for $25.00 per person each way

The Kepler Water Taxi has scheduled departures from Te Anau town centre to Brod bay at 8:30am, 9:30am & 4:00pm each day, and return at 4:30pm in the afternoon. Other times by arrangement. Contact us at Tracknet to help make your water taxi reservations

Take a helicopter from Te Anau to Mount Luxmore for a downhill one-way walk.

Treat yourself! A helicopter can drop you off at Luxmore Hut so you can walk back down the mountain into Te Anau. There are incredible views over the Te Anau basin on a clear day. This trip by helicopter is weather-dependent.

Lake Marian on a sunny day

Lake Marian Track

Walking Duration: From the Lake Marian Car Park it is 3.1 kilometres each way, allow 3 hours return.
Note: If you are walking from the Marian Corner to the Lake Marian Carpark, it is another 1 kilometre each way.

Price for transport is $85.00 return (Te Anau to Marian Corner & Marian Corner to Te Anau

Te Anau to Marian Corner (on the Milford Road) 7:15am 9:45am 2:20pm 1 hours & 15 mins
Marian Corner to Te Anau 10:00am 3:00pm 5:30pm* 1 hours & 15 mins

Lake Marian Information

The Lake Marian Track is a stunning hiking trail offering a captivating adventure for nature enthusiasts and hikers seeking to immerse themselves in the pristine wilderness. The track is steep and on uneven ground in places. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

The journey to Lake Marian begins at the Hollyford Road. Tracknet Transport can take you to the 'Marian Corner', it is a further 1-kilometre walk along the Hollyford Road to the Lake Marian Carpark.

The first ten minutes of the walk is on easy track, and you can hear thundering waterfalls in the distance as you approach the waterfall viewing gantry. From here, the track steepens as you go through lush beech forests, along meandering streams, and beneath towering cliffs, showcasing the diverse ecosystems that Fiordland is renowned for.

The highlight of the Lake Marian Track is the pristine alpine lake itself, cradled within a cirque of jagged peaks and cliffs. The turquoise waters of Lake Marian are a striking contrast to the rugged, granite surroundings. It's a perfect spot for a picnic or a refreshing dip on a hot summer's day.

The Lake Marian Track offers a remarkable experience that captures the essence of Fiordland in just a three-hour walk.

Tracknet transport travels on this route during the Great Walks season only (25th October 2023 - 1st May 2024). Bookings are essential.

Lower Waiau

Lake Manapōuri Tracks

You can access a range of tracks from Lake Manapōuri's Pearl Harbour. These tracks all begin on the opposite side of the Lower Waiau River, and a water taxi operates daily to get you there (river crossing required).

Beach Walk 5km return 1 - 1.5 hours Easy
Circle Track 8km return 3-4 hours Challenging
Hope Arm Hut Track 8.5km each way 6 hours return Moderate
Back Valley Hut 8km each way 5 hours return Moderate
Lake Rakatu 12km each way 10 hours return Moderate
Mount Titiroa Unmarked track Various Challenging

To access these walks, you must cross the Lower Waiau River. The Adventure Manapōuri Water taxi departs daily to get you there and back.

For more information about these walks and to make water taxi bookings, visit the Adventure Manapōuri Website.

What to Bring:

Suggestions for what to bring on your self-guided day walk.

  • Research the track you intend to walk and collect a map or other information about the section of Track (From Te Anau Department of Conservation).
  • Wristwatch or device to ensure you do not miss your transport back to Te Anau.
  • Waterproof jacket – never venture into Fiordland without it.
  • Warm clothing – this is a mountainous environment and weather can change quickly. Hat and gloves are the best items to keep those extremities warm.
  • Sunscreen and sunhat.
  • Camera.
  • Lunch and snacks. There’s a selection of cafes and two supermarkets in Te Anau.
  • Water bottle.
  • Bug spray – yep! You will meet the occasional sandfly.
  • Good walking shoes or boots
  • Day pack to carry your gear –this should be comfortable and waterproof.

Please note: These tracks are in remote locations and there are no shops. You may not be able to rely on cellphone coverage in these areas. There is limited cellphone coverage on the Milford Road and potentially no coverage once you get into the bush.

BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL

Bookings are essential to confirm your seat. Check availability, departure times and book online to receive instant email confirmation. Alternatively, if you require further details, call us on freephone: 0800 483 262.
For private transfers or charters please enquire to: res@tracknet.net.

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