As I mentioned in my intro post, I've done a few of the great walks in NZ (Waikaremoana, Abel Tasman, Tongariro and Heaphy - the hardest!) and am planning to add to them in November out of the following three; Kepler, Routeburn and Stewart Island.

My mate is real keen to do the Stewart Island one but I'm less than enthused about tramping in mud and I'm no ornithologist so I'm not sure it'd really be up my alley.

Has anyone done any of the three I've mentioned and if so what was your experience? Any advice or tips welcomed.

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Welcome Bill ! Although I've spent many hours in the great outdoors, I have not done any of our great walks. But as a keen fisherman and hunter I'd be keen to see Stewart Island one day.

I've travelled overseas to a small extent, and it is a bit embarrassing to admit that I have not yet explored all of my own country and that I've never done any of our famous walks (except for a single day on the Abel Tasman track). When I have had time to spend in the wilderness I have generally opted for day trips where I can hunt.

I hope that somebody with some relevant experience sees your post soon and gives you the information that you need. Other than that I would imagine that there are tramping clubs around with some keen members that would be happy to talk about what they know. And if all else fails there should be somebody on the DOC staff who could offer advice.

Best wishes from Nelson.... Stephen Coote
Hi Bill,

I don't get down to the 'mainland' as much as I'd like.

If you like bush tramping an bit of mud and an oppertunity to be on a pretty unique island then I'd say go for Stewart Island.

If you like sub alpine terrain and open views then I think you'd enjoy the Routeburn

Another option that is not a great walk but is well worth doing is the Greenstone / Caples track

Hope this helps...


Howdy Bill,

Being asked to choose between these great treks would typically be quite unreasonable, and I wouldn't be interested in warranting an answer. Too difficult. But, given the time of year (November) and the accompanying late spring weather, I'd be far more inclined to take the Kepler over the others.
Routeburn and Stewart Is. are dense and canopied, and make great shelter from the sun and rain. But picture yourself on the edge of the tussock(ed) mountain, surrounded by a ragged landscape and distant blue lakes. Consider the warm spring sun gently tending your old winter bones. This is definitely the right season for the Kepler, just as long as the weather is sensible come November. If not, try to get into the Routeburn.
Stewart Is should no be passed up as there are elements of the Island which appeal to everybody. But save this for summer when you can make use of the bays you encounter on your walk.

Best Wishes,
Thanks for the replies.

It looks like we'll do the Kepler and the Routeburn pretty much back to back (2 day break in between). Routeburn is only 32 kms and looks like a piece of piss.

Can't wait!
Have you confirmed when? Hope the weather plays nice
90% sure we'll aim for either of the last two weeks in November.


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