"There is nothing like taking that first step into a foreign world, and the great unknown that lies beyond it."

Kepler Track. 2 days. 60 kilometers

Kepler Track. 2 days. 60 kilometers

http://www.doc.govt.nz/keplertrack

Out of the two Great Walks in Fiordlands National Park there is a debate about the best. This comes down to personal experience and personal preference but in my opinion, if I had to choose one it would Routeburn. 

My hiking partner and I decided to knock out the Kepler route in 2 days. One short day and one very very long day. The track was beautiful and the views from huts were stunning. I especially loved the one hut we stayed in on night one, Moturau Hut. At night you can go down to the lakeshore, have a bonfire in a legally designated fire pit and gaze at a mesmerizing night sky. Being allowed to have a fire on this trail is rare! I saw some pretty incredible shooting stars and an ethereal milky way (the larger and brighter portion of the milky way is seen down in New Zealand and it is a must see along with the southern cross constellation). 

When we finished the track the final campsite looked gorgeous and it would have been a nice option to camp here and wake up next to lake Te Anu. Instead, we walked out to the car and splurged on a town meal at an Italian Restaurant (totally worth it).

Highlights of this track were the multiple spottings of Kea birds (I just love them). I would choose Routeburn over Kepler though only because there seemed to be more views and for longer periods of time. Much of Kepler was spent in forested areas.

A Kea bird curiously hanging out next to somebody's backpack   

A Kea bird curiously hanging out next to somebody's backpack

 

Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar

Routeburn Track both ways. 2 days 64 kilometers

Routeburn Track both ways. 2 days 64 kilometers