Fiordland Day Walks and Hikes Transport

You don't need to embark on an overnight hike to enjoy all that Fiordland has to offer. One of the best things to do in Te Anau is to get away from the towns, people and the wi-fi 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. And, 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 own safety and need to be self sufficient for the day and be prepared with appropriate clothing, food and footwear for the conditions. You must manage your time to ensure you are in the correct location 15 minutes prior to your departure time to meet the return bus.

Key Summit – The Divide (Routeburn Track)

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

Price $68 return (Te Anau to The Divide and back to Te Anau)
9:45 am bus from Te Anau to The Divide
3:15 pm return bus from The Divide to Te Anau

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.

Please Note: Buses arrive at The Divide approximately 1 hour after departure time from Te Anau. This allows up to 4 hours of self-guided walking time.

The initial stages of the Routeburn Track 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 Howden Hut and 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.

Rainbow Reach to Shallow Bay or Motu-rau Hut (Kepler Track)

Walking Duration: 3 to 4 hours return

Transport price $25.00 return (Te Anau to Rainbow Reach and back)

Te Anau to Rainbow Reach 9:30am 11:15am 2:40pm 4.15*pm 20mins
Rainbow Reach to Te Anau 10:00am 3:00pm 4:00pm* 5:00pm* 20mins

To access this part of the Kepler Track, cross the Swingbridge beside the Rainbow Reach carpark 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 lake shore 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 and 5.00pm services, bookings are essential as we only run with confirmed bookings.

Walk from Rainbow Reach to Te Anau (or vice versa).

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

Price $15 one way (Te Anau to Rainbow Reach or vice versa)

Te Anau to Rainbow Reach 9:20am 11:15am 2:30pm 3:30pm 4:10pm 20mins
Rainbow Reach to Te Anau 10:00am 3:00pm 4:00pm 5:00pm 20mins

From Te Anau, follow the walking track at the South end of Lake Te Anau around to Punanga Manu ō Te Anau (Te Anau Bird Sanctuary) and around the lake's edge onto the Kepler carpark. 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 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 and 5.00pm services, bookings are essential as we only run with confirmed bookings.

Luxmore Hut (Kepler Track)

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 $8.00 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 bushline. 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 & 10.30am each morning 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.

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).
  • Wrist watch 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 – memory card with plenty of space.
  • 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 no cellphone coverage on the Milford Road or Routeburn Track)

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We can also provide private transfers or charters, please contact us for more infomation:

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