new zealand // kepler track in review

Kepler Track Review – Do it

Wow, what a place! I knew it never got a bad review, but I never thought it would be so stunning. New Zealand is everything everyone says, and more! In December I spent four weeks on the South Island hiking, camping, and driving across the island discovering the flora and fauna and landscapes that are abundant. I would personally thank the DOC (Department of Conversation) for preserving the wonderful environment while making it accessible to the public. Their rangers and offices provided plenty of information and help to foreigners such as myself in navigating the expansive conservation regions of the country. I’m happy to say that you will see my photographs in the 2016 Kepler Track Review brochure, so be sure to check it out!

 

This is the first of four posts about New Zealand. My official review of the Kepler Track is 10/10 would do again, but really, I think the photos will do it justice. The hike itself was moderate with a 800 meter climb and descent, each in a long switchback stretch which was the most challenging part. All in all the trek was 60 kilometers in length and we were beat at the end of 3 nights/4 days.

We lucked out on weather. The day before we passed the summit people were turning around because the extreme weather prohibited a safe crossing. However, the next day, when we set out, this is the weather we had–mostly sunny with a passing ice storm from time to time. The dappled lighting of the partly cloudy skies provided the perfect addition to the already stunning Southern Alps.

Kepler Track in Review

Kepler Track Alpine View

In the southwest corner of the South Island is the nearly impenetrable Fiordland National Park, home to the Kepler Track Great Walk and the Milford Sound Great Walk.

Mt. Luxmore Kepler Track New Zealand
I travel a lot and each time I leave home there is the struggle about what equipment to take. I’ve taken zoom lenses, multiple prime lenses, point-and-shoot cameras, but this time all I took was one Canon 6D  and one Canon 50mm 1.2 lens with my iPhone–all the images on this post were taken with a 6D and 50mm lens. The iPhone was key because it allowed me to connect via WiFi to my Canon 6D and pull images off directly, then upload them to the internet when WiFi was available (which was not all the time!). Please check out my Instagram which featured dozens of photos from this trip // @tylermilesray.
Lake Te Anau Kepler Track View Mt. Luxmore on the Kepler Track in New Zealand
This is Lake Te Anau, one of many inland fjords that characterize the eastern edge of Fiordland.

Mt. Luxmore on the Kepler Track Great Walk in New Zealand kepler track review Fiordland's Southern Alps from the pathway of the Kepler Track, a New Zealand Great Walk Snow in November on the Summit of Mt. Luxemore on the Kepler Track in New Zealand

Kepler Track Review

Dramatic weather rolls across Lake Te Anau South Fiord on the Kepler Track Great Walk in New Zealand kepler track review Unnamed Mountain along the Kepler Track Great Walk in New Zealand Iris Burns Creek Fairy Land Fores near Iris Burn Hut on the Kepler Track Amazing moss and ferns on the Kepler Track in New Zealand Primeval looking tree ferns flank the sides of the Kepler Track Mossy wonderland on the Kepler Great Walk Moss Everywhere New Zealand DOC boardwalk on the Kepler Track Can anyone name this fern for me??? Lord of the Rings South Fiord of Lake Te Anau in the Southern Alps in Fiordland, New Zealandquadruple exposure canon 6d

Kepler Track Review

Temperate Rainforest

Photos from this trip have been featured in the 2016 DOC Kepler Track brochure. The bottom hero image is mine:

 

kepler track review

 

These photographs and all the other photographs from New Zealand 2014 were photographed on a Canon 6D and a 50mm 1.2 lens.

Are you going to New Zealand and want to hike the Kepler Track? Here is the website for information and booking: Kepler Track

Other New Zealand posts:

Milford Sound Trek Great Walk

Routburn Trek Great Walk

South Island

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