"Takes you places"
Both routes are described in information that is readily available and the tracks are well defined and well made. However weather conditions can change dramatically and damage or ‘white out’ tracks so be prepared. Strong winds can also occur.
Both tracks have shelters between the main residential huts. The Kepler provides the highest accommodation in NZ at Luxmore hut. You can get snow there at the best of times.
There is no serious altitude involved in either walk. They are not hard and do not involve climbing or exposure. However they can be cold, wet and slippery and even if you are not carrying a tent you should have adequate warm and waterproof clothing and snack food to stay put out side for a night in an emergency.
The rangers will close the track if they think conditions have become too hazardous.
Routeburn – Designated tent camp sites available as well as the option of huts – both need to be booked.
Kepler – Serviced, pre booked huts only. Shared dormitories with mattresses. BYO food, cooking utensils and sleeping bag.
This entry is just a guideline to these two well known NZ ‘Great Walks’ which despite their popularity and, therefore, fellow travelers, are very well worth doing. The Milford Track is another well know, hut based Great Walk’ not discussed here. There are many other walks in NZ, not all as well serviced and used as the ‘Great Walks’, but still very popular and spectacular.
eg: Mt Aspiring National Park and Rees & Dart River tracks. These need to be booked but are entirely DIY in all respects but with huts and marked trails. However a good map is recommended in these cases.
Best (and most popular) time of year weather-wise is probably February but conditions can vary dramatically.
These activity outlines have been compiled from information provided by ABW members.
Their accuracy is subject to variations in individual members’ observations, climate and weather conditions, land and ownership, accessibility, national park rules and permits.
Members should not rely on this information but use it as a guide and supplement it with their own research as appropriate.
While all endeavors will be made to ensure that the information is kept current, it is the responsibility of members using these records to confirm that they are up to date.
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