AROUND THE WORLD.ORG

travelling the seven parts of the world
Feb 16th, 2008
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We didn't have the equipment necessary to go on any of the great walks, but we didn't regret this at all. Some of the best parts of the great walks can be walked as 1 day tours, and overall, we didn't find the great walks as challenging or interesting as the day trips we were doing. We found out that it is still possible to do the great walks even if you don't have equipment as there are plenty of rental options that are not too expensive, but by then we had decided we had better things to do.

One of New Zealand's Great Walks, the Kepler Track, can be easily accessed from Te Anau, and the first part of the track, up until Mt. Luxmore, is also the most beautiful one, so we decided that we'd walk that.



The first part of the track goes through a great rain forest, and passes some really good beaches, that we decided we'd explore on the way back, as we had no idea how long the climb would take.

After the rain forest part, there is a quick climb zig-zagging up the mountain for a total altitude change of 800m. This was pretty easy, this is a great walk, so the tracks are wide and well maintained.



One of the problems with climbing up a mountain like this is that there is no wind in the forest, and it is pretty warm. Once you get up to the alpine meadows, there is a lot of wind, and it was cloudy and cold. You get pretty sweaty on the way up, and then get really cold once you make it up there. And I sweat a lot, and in every possible occasion. By the time I got up there, my shirt might've as well been submerged in a lake, so to keep warm I ended up taking it off, turning my wind and water resistant jacket inside out, and going in that alone.



Once that was done, I attached my shirt to the bag I carried and walked around like this:



Once we were up on the mountain, it was just a half an hour walk to the Luxmore Hut.



Huts are used by pretty much all walkers, people rarely camp out, because huts are just everywhere, and the hut passes are easily obtained, unless you are trying to do one of the really popular tracks, like Milford and Routeborn, some of which don't allow camping at all anyway. All huts have some basic bunks to sleep on, and some of the bigger and better serviced ones, like this one, have cooking facilities and running water.



We didn't go further than the Luxmore Hut, as the hut was already in cloud, and the top of the mountain (which wasn't far away at all, but was higher than the hut) wouldn't offer a better view anyway. Instead we slowly headed down to the beaches at the bottom, to have a rest there. That didn't last too long, because of the famous sandflies, which attack in great fury, and leave bite marks that last for weeks.



The walk to Luxmore Hut and back to the carpark is approx. 29 km long. We managed it in about 7 hours, with a nice rest on the beach included.

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