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While most visitors stick to hiking New Zealand’s North Island, the island’s (arguably) greatest trek can be found in the south. The Kepler Track is one of the Great Walks in New Zealand, and manages to provide some of the most varied and lovely scenery without the crowds of more well-known excursions. Spanning 60km above glacier-carved valleys and passing plunging waterfalls, this hike will take about four days to complete, and has hut support along the way.

This is a loop hike, making logistics as easy as possible, and offering several options for starting locations. Take a swim in Brod Bay before switchbacking for a while up to the top of limestone bluffs and taking in the New Zealand scenery once you get past bushline. From here, the trail stays above the trees and brush for miles, summiting Mt. Luxmore before dipping back into the valley. Hikers will have their choice of huts for lodging, but advanced booking is required. Fees can be expensive, so be prepared and budget accordingly for hut stays.

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