Mt Brown Hut – West Coast – New Zealand

Sometimes you get inspired not by instagram or through the world wide web but through and ordinary book. The book ‘’Shelter from the Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts’’ has this picturesque hut on the cover.

I don’t need a lot of convincing to leave the comfort of home and head into the outdoors so after  keeping an eye on the weather for a couple weeks we decided this weekend would be great.

On Friday we drove for 4 hours via Arthurs Pass to the West Coast to camp at Hans Bay Campground at Lake Kaniere. Leaving on Friday and camp near the start of the hike allows us to have an early start on Saturday.


Day 1

The campground is on the lake shores and is so peaceful in the morning before the wind picks up. We enjoyed our breakfast and a coffee on the jetty before we started packing to drive to the start of the track.

There are a couple routes to get up to the hut and we decided instead of heading straight up towards the hut to walk the longer route today. This would make the hike short on Sunday which was great as we still had to drive back home.

At 9am we started and hiked along the Styx river for an hour before we followed the track uphill. This way we approached the hut from the South West. The hike is straightforward and not very steep. As we started gaining altitude the views into the valley got better and better. The last stretch is through tussock and we made our way to the hut. It took us approx. 5 hours to get to the hut which was perfect timing for a late lunch.

The views from the deck where magnificent! You can see Lake Kaniere and all the way to the ocean. An awesome lunch spot. The rest of the day we roamed around the hut and read a book on the deck while the sun was slowly setting.

Mt Brown Hut is a small 4 bunk hut and super cosy. We lit some candles and played a game of cards while sipping away hot chocolate with rum.


Day 2

After having Mt Brown Hut on the ‘to do’ bucket lists for months it makes me smile knowing we can tick this off the list and have collected some new memories.

The way down was steep and quite slippery. It took us around 2 hours before we got back to the car. Getting uphill on this side will take approx. 3-4 hours. Back at the car before lunch we drove off to have lunch at Lake Kaniere before making our way back to Christchurch.

A great weekend trip and the batteries are charged again for a week of work. When I am in the outdoors in the weekends it always feels like I have been away for more than just 2 days.

Quick info

Access: South East of Lake Kaniere (Hokitika) on Dorothy Falls Road

Grade: Medium

Time: 2 days

Altitude: Hut at 1130m

Accomm: Mt Brown Hut, 4 bunks, free

Coordinates: Latitude: -42.869029 / Longitude: 171.200058

TopoMap NZ: BV19










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.