Home / Articles / Waypoints

A west side story

Image of the April 2018 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
April 2018 Issue

Stafford Hut, West Coast

Just two metres above sea level next to the West Coast’s Stafford River, this hut provides plenty of attraction.

We arrived on the low-tide coastal route, encountering quite severe conditions as waves crashed on the shore and sent us scurrying up steep bluffs to avoid the worst of the swell. And this was at low tide.

By the time we arrived at the hut, we were soaked through and happy to light the fire and enjoy the comfort of a dry bunk. Numerous records in the visitor’s book told of how others had also experienced a tough walk along the coast, with some being forced to use the inland route over Stafford Saddle.

To reach the hut, follow the marked tramping track to Smoothwater River where you can then choose the recommended and safer inland route (marked), or the coastal alternative, which requires calm sea conditions and can be done only within two hours of low tide.

– Jakub Cejpek

Stafford Hut via the Coastal Route:

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Web exclusives. Each week we publish stories you won’t find in the magazine. View our latest web exclusives.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.

Stafford Hut via the Inland Route:

10km via Coastal Route; 9km via Inland Route
Total Ascent
406m via Coastal Route; 460m via Inland Route
Moderate / Difficult
Stafford Hut ($5, six bunks)
From Jackson Bay, 50km south of Haast
BY10, BZ10