Kepler Track

A trekker on the Dusky Track in the Pleasant Range, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

Hiking New Zealand’s Hardest Hut Trek, the Dusky Track

By Michael Lanza We step out of the Lake Roe Hut into a persistent drizzle, deep in what may be the most dishonestly named mountains in the world—the Pleasant Range in New Zealand’s chronically soggy Fiordland National Park. Belligerent gusts hurl cups of water into our faces. By the time my friend, Jeff, and I have taken our first 50 …

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A hiker on Mount Luxmore on the Kepler Track in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park.

New Zealand’s Best, Uncomplicated Hut Trek: The Kepler Track

By Michael Lanza The forecast for New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park looks particularly grim, even for this chronically wet region that receives more than 30 feet of rainfall annually—or about 10 times as much rain as Seattle. A “Southwesterly,” a fierce and not uncommon type of storm that blows in from the Southern Ocean off Antarctica and can offload several …

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Summit of Mount Luxmore on the Kepler Track, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

One Photo, One Story: Trekking New Zealand’s Kepler Track

By Michael Lanza

After my friend Jeff Wilhelm and I reached the Luxmore Hut, where we planned to spend the first night of our three-day trek on the Kepler Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, we quickly decided there was no way we were just hanging out there for the rest of the afternoon. The sun was shining—which, in Fiordland, is rare enough that a smart trekker takes advantage of it: This corner of the world receives a mind-boggling volume of rain, up to about 400 inches a year, about 10 times as much rainfall as Seattle gets annually. So instead of resting, Jeff and I went for a hike.

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