Lake Morgan – West Coast

I can’t wait for the weekends to be over and I am back stuck in the office working my way to retirement. Yeah, not quite. Often I find myself looking out the window and thinking about my next mountain adventure and why the weekend is only has 2 days.

Lake Morgan has been on the to do list for a while now and every time I had a long weekend the weather wasn’t favourable. Finally the weather was looking good for the upcoming weekend and I started to ask around if some where keen to head into the outdoors for Lake Morgan.

As this was just an ordinary weekend it ment leaving on Friday after work to already drive halfway to the West Coast and continue early in the morning to start the hike. We then would hike to the Lake on Saturday and back out on Sunday. After the hike driving back home (4hrs) would make it possible to be home on time to get stuck behind our desks again.


So, let’s get into the good stuff. The hike!

Day 1

After work we drove from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass where we spend the night. An early rise and another 1.5 drive we started hiking at 9am. The hike starts along the Haupiri River and is going uphill via Brian O’Lyn Route.

You then hike all the way up till you pop out of the bush and are above the bush line where you can start appreciating why you went up this steep track. And the views are only getting better! We continued following the tops towards Mt O’Shannesy. As this is the West Coast guaranteed sun is never a given and the cloud where coming and going throughout the day.

Just make sure you have the right clothes with you it’s no problem. Hiking in New Zealand is quite a bit different then Europe for example. Even though New Zealand is quite a large country the weather is very unpredictable and weather forecast aren’t very correct. We always (even in the hight of summer) bring a goose down and rain jacket. If it is not cold with hiking, having this extra layer on top of the mountains while enjoying your lunch makes it so much more pleasant and that is exactly what we did on Mt O’Shannesy.

As we continued to Lake Morgan Hut which is located in an awesome spot we past it and walked the final stretch as the plan was to camp at Lake Morgan. After 8 hours we managed to set up camp and soak up the surrounding while enjoying a hut cup a thee and dinner.


Day 2

While being up here in the mountains there is now way I am not waking up for sunrise or stay up for sunset. The sunset wasn’t very exciting but the sunrise was. Below you can see the clouds going through the valley towards the saddle where Lake Morgan Hut is located.

While having breakfast the sun was popping above the mountains which was a nice welcome to warm up a bit before starting day 2.

We packed up all our stuff and walked up the ridge which encloses the lake. We made our way down into the Haupiri river valley where we followed the river back towards the car again. This day sounds all rather easy but it actually took us 12hours to get back but it took us a while to figure out where we had to go down. After this it’s more the tree roots and boulder hopping that makes for slow progress.




Quick info

Access: East of Lake Haupiri at end of Wallace Road

Grade: Medium-Hard

Time: 2-3 days

Altitude: Lake Morgan at approx. 1300m

Accomm: Camping at lake or Lake Morgan Hut

Coordinates: Latitude: -42.671367 Longitude: 171.706895

TopoMap NZ: BU21







Disclaimer: This post was in no way compensated. All adventures were my own and told from my personal experiences. There aren’t any affiliate links listed on this post.

Please keep in mind that while in nature to always be cautious and help preserve it. Don’t litter and always clean up after yourself and others. All together we can make a difference in the world to help maintain its beauty.

Be awesome and leave no Trace!

Tiaki is a powerful and diverse word in te reo Māori, meaning to care and protect, and to look after people, animals and place.