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.

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.


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
See & Do
Glacier Helicopters Franz Josef Glacier Glacier Helicopters Franz Josef Glacier

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

Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
Accommodation
Glow-Worm-Accommodation-Franz-Josef.JPG Glow Worm Accommodation

Affordable accommodation in Franz Josef with free soup, breakfast, popcorn, spa pool, and international phone calls.

Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
Accommodation
10 Cottages 10 Cottages

Backing on to peaceful greenery the 10 Cottages are a modern 4 star version of the traditional corrugated iron cottages which provided accommodation to early travelers to Franz Josef .

Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
See & Do
Bruce-Bay-New-Zealand.JPG Bruce Bay

Bruce Bay - or Mahitahi - is a small coastal settlement with stunning sea vistas and a wonderfully wild windswept beach, 40km south of Fox Glacier and 80 km from Haast.

Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
Accommodation
Lake Ianthe Matahi Campsite Lake Ianthe Matahi Campsite

Campsite in an area popular for boating, trout fishing and swimming.

$4 - $8 per night
Learn more
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier
See & Do
Franzjoseftours Franz Josef Wilderness Tours

Paddling Tours, Scenic Cruises, Fishing Tours & Combo Tours

Learn more