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Mountain hut day trip

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July 2022 Issue

Brewster Hut, Mount Aspiring National Park

Brewster Hut is a popular destination near Wānaka, but on this sunny winter’s day we had it to ourselves. 

The Haast River stole the warmth from our feet as we tiptoed through its icy shallows. Fresh snowfall, knee-deep in places, obscured the track and coated the alpine shrubs. Tussock peaked through the drifts. The orange poles dotting the ridge ahead provided motivation to keep going. 

After rounding the final climb to reach the hut, we dropped our packs on the ice-free deck for a rest and to marvel at the view. This bright red hut sits high above the valley but far below the surrounding peaks. 

While the hut book shows daily entries for the summer months, visitors are sporadic during winter. A lack of heating in the hut doesn’t exactly entice people the way a roaring fire might. Nonetheless, a day trip in fine weather allows for a comfortable lunch outside overlooking the Haast Valley and the peaks opposite.

5.4km return
Total Ascent
4-8hr return
Brewster Hut ($30, 12 bunks)
SH6 / Haast Pass Highway

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Brewster Hut (gpx, 3 KB)

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