Visitor Centre to Control Gates

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Easy 50 min, 4km walk from the visitor centre in Te Anau to the Control Gates - the start of the Kepler Track.

While the town of Te Anau is charming and quite small, it is nonetheless lovely to get away from it for a few hours to spend some time in nature. After the yacht club, the remainder of the track takes you through a small forest. The forest will open onto the Bird Sanctuary briefly then the vegetation is a mix of small bushes with lake views. 

You’ll walk alongside the lake most of the time, on a calm still day the water is just stunning and excellent for taking photos.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Te Anau, South Island, New Zealand
  • Time needed: 50-minute walk
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Bikes allowed: Yes
  • Route: One way
  • Elevation: None
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes, at the visitor centre and the bird sanctuary.
  • Dogs: Not allowed
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
  • Last Updated: May, 2020

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Summary points about this walk

Control Gates at the start of the Kepler Track

The track takes in views of several mountain ranges, from the Jackson Peaks and Kepler Mountains and then later, if you know where to look, the Earl Mountains. But even if you can’t tell the mountains apart, there’s no doubt that they’re quite an unforgettable sight.

As you follow the track and the shore, you will arrive at the Control Gates which, as the name suggests, control the flow of water between Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri. These gates are also the start of the Kepler Track.

What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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