A short day’s walk with a large reward.
Offering a kea’s-eye view of the country around Haast Pass, Brewster Hut sits about a kilometre vertically above the Haast Highway and 300 metres above the bushline at an altitude of 1450 metres. Perched on a tussock spur on the western flank of the Main Divide, it is an exceptional place, with views towards the Makarora catchment, up to Mt Brewster, and down the Haast Valley. For experienced parties, a steepish sidle at about 1600 metres gives access to the white ice of the Brewster Glacier and its meltwater pools. The hut catches a lot of sun, and there is usually plenty of room inside for those staying. It’s an exhilarating spot.
The current hut was built in 2007, and it’s only about four hours’ walk up a Department of Conservation track from the Fantail Falls car park beside the Haast Highway. Beyond the bushline, along a ridge that is sometimes narrow, marker poles continue to the hut.