Beaches, lakes & coastline

Lake Matheson

Directions

About

The unsurpassed views and mountain reflections from the forested shores of Lake Matheson make this easy walk one of the most popular on the West Coast.

Price

Free

More information

Famous for mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, Lake Matheson is nestled in ancient forest just 5 km from Fox Glacier Weheka.

Lake Matheson was formed when Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe retreated from its last significant advance about 14 000 years ago.

Lake Matheson’s excellent mirror-like reflecting properties are due to the dark brown colour of the water, the result of organic matter leached from the humus of the forest floor.

Car park to jetty viewpoint

Time: 40 min return car park to jetty.
Distance: 1 km return car park to jetty.

The first section of the walk to the jetty viewpoint is suitable for assisted wheelchairs.

After crossing the Clearwater suspension bridge, the walk to the jetty viewpoint takes you past tall kahikatea and rimu as well as a rich profusion of smaller plant varieties.

The jetty provides a magnificent mountain view reflected in the dark waters.

Lake circuit

Time: 1 hr 30 min return lake circuit.
Distance: 2.6 km return lake circuit.

After walking to the jetty viewpoint continue further around the lake.

You will find a similarly magnificent mountain reflection shrouded in native foliage at the top end of the lake, and again at Reflection Island.

Dawn and dusk are generally the best viewing times as the lake is generally calm.


You found a Christmas tree

Well done, you have found one of our hidden Christmas trees!

You can enter our Christmas competition for a chance to win a trip to the West Coast

christmas-145319_1280.png


Directions

Lake Matheson Road, Fox Glacier, West Coast, NZ

Turn onto Cook Flat Road in the middle of Fox Glacier Weheka township (this is well signposted). Travel 5km along this road then turn right onto the side road to Lake Matheson.

Get directions

Related Listings

Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
Towns, Places & Info centres
Franz josef town centre.PNG Franz Josef

The small but lively Franz Josef village is surrounded by lush rainforest with the high snow-capped Alps above.

Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
Accommodation
YHA - Franz Josef - exterior - 3 - 2015 1000.jpg YHA Franz Josef

With the West Coast rainforest right outside the backdoor, YHA Franz Josef is a 4 star plus Gold Qualmark-rated backpacker hostel offering comfortable, modern accommodation.

$27 - $145
Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
See & Do
air safaris Air Safaris Franz Josef

Our Grand Traverse scenic flight from Franz Josef provides the best way to experience this glacial environment in its entirety.

$250 - $425
Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
See & Do
Fox Glacier West Coast Cycling - Glacier Country

Walk or cycle through bush from Franz Josef township to the Franz Josef Glacier car park.

Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
See & Do
Glacier Helicopters Franz Josef Glacier Glacier Helicopters Franz Josef Glacier

Discover the glacier wonderland on close-up scenic flights with Glacier Helicopters.

$240 - $450
Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
Accommodation
terrace motels Terrace Motels

Relax after a long trip or local activity in our comfortable 4 star all ground floor rooms, with free parking by your door and unlimited free WiFi.

Learn more