Summer on the mighty Kepler Track

Department of Conservation —  15/08/2013

In April, 11-year-old Summer Jubb tackled the mighty Kepler Track in Fiordland National Park after her family won the experience as part of DOC’s involvement in the Venture Southland campaign.

Summer and her dad conquered the whole track in some challenging weather. Her mum, Mel, plus younger sisters, 9-year-old Poppy and 6-year-old Bella, met up with them at Luxmore Hut and Moturau Huts during their adventure.

Summer writes:

Let me tell you about my experiences on the ridges and valleys of the Kepler Track.

Summer on the Kepler Track with mountainous peaks.

Summer high up on the Kepler Track

The first day was so much up hill — it just kept going up, up, up. About three quarters of the way up there were limestone boulders. They were so high and huge that it made me feel very small.

Summer Jubb and her family walking through bush on the Kepler Track.

Walking, up, up and up!

The bearded forest (that’s what we called it) was amazing— there were drips of moss hanging off the trees that looked like a beards.

When we finally got to Luxmore Hut we were exhausted, but we still had enough energy to go for a 10 minute walk to the Luxmore Caves. They are amazing! Then I found out that food is really, really good when you are cold and hungry.

Jubb family photo by a DOC sign on the Kepler Track.

Family photo on the Kepler Track

I think the second day was the best. It was first up hill then in the alpine and ridges of the mountains. I loved the part when you are on the top lookout, when you can see everything below you. When there is an hour and a half to go it is all down, down, down. There are 97 switch backs and 24 stoat traps to count along the way. Finally there was Iris Burn Hut. There is a river just by the hut that you can go swimming in, it is quite cold though. As well as the river there is an amazing waterfall that’s 20 minutes away from the hut.

Summer high up on a ridge along the Kepler Track.

Along a ridge on the Kepler Track

Thankfully, the third day is all flat. There were these gorgeous purple mushrooms along the way. At Moturau hut there is a lake that is just warm enough to swim in and cool down your feet.

A misty valley on the Kepler Track.

A misty valley

I loved all my experiences on the great four day walk known as the Kepler Track. It was awesome to do with my family.

9 responses to Summer on the mighty Kepler Track


    I can only keep my fingers x’d that my girls want to do that at your age. Well done. keep trecking.


    Oh so proud a granny am I! Dripping moss and bearded forest, that is mighty fine writing my precious princess! Keep these wonderful adventures coming.


    Hey Summer, wish we could have been there with you. Sounds amazing. I love the way you described the bearded forest with its drips of moss. Awesome photos too, anyone would think there was a photographer in the family.

    Brian Graham-Smith 15/08/2013 at 11:15 am

    As 60+ year olds & not as fit as I should be we tackled the Kepler in February this year & must say it is one of the highlights of my life, the scenery, the people we met from all over the world, the bird life-just reinforced what a wonderful country we live in- who needs to go overseas to get there adrenelin fix-well done Summer & family looks like you enjoyed as much as we did & hope you tackle many more walks. DOC Rangers what wonderful people you are, govt don’t appreciate how much you are appreciated by us trampers keep it up.


      I worked on the Kepler Track for a season a few years back, at the Iris Burn Hut. It really was one of the best times of my life. Met so many awesome travellers, and loved the hard work on the tracks and hut talks in the evenings. I am so pleased that the trampers really do appreciate us, we love what we do, but its better when others do too!


    Absolutely awesome! Glad to hear that you had a great time Summer. Great pictures!


    Awesome to see your story Summer, we had such fun, cant wait for the next tramp! 🙂


    Very cute and a good effort girls…start of long tramping careers hopefully 🙂

    Astrid Nunns 15/08/2013 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for the great story and pictures, Summer! Great to read about your family adventure.