Godley Hut is a gem. Built pile-less in 1934, directly onto a slightly elevated rocky shelf at 1100m, it looks out to the terminal lake of the Maud and Grey glaciers.
The Maud icefall fills the hut’s northern window.
On my only visit to Godley Hut, our climbing party took shelter there while we waited for the weather to clear. It proved a reliable refuge from a raw and powerful alpine environment.
It’s not large – just eight bunks. Structural timber, now more than 80 years old, gives a historic feel. The hut was officially opened by AP Harper and GE Mannering, two of New Zealand’s alpine greats and both founding members and ex-presidents of the New Zealand Alpine Club.
The hut was to be retired in 2005, but maintenance work has kept it going. The South Canterbury Section of NZAC takes prime responsibility for maintenance.
Access is by 4WD vehicle for around 30km up the Godley River, followed by a short 3km walk that even the sturdiest vehicles can’t cope with.
Another part of Godley Hut’s magic is that, in an environment usually only accessible to hardened climbers, reaching the hut is within the capabilities of family groups.
- 30km in 4WD, plus 3km to walk
- 3-4hr in 4WD; 1hr further walk
- Godley Hut ($20, eight bunks)
- Via a 4WD route up Godley River, beyond Lilybank Road
- Godley Hut (gpx, 20 KB)
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