Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson, West Coast 7886, New Zealand

Lake Matheson is a magical little spot near Fox Glacier. It’s a great place to take a walk at sunset, before enjoying dinner and some local wine at the Matheson Cafe. On a clear day, the reflection in the lake proudly displays all the reasons to be in love with the Westland National Park region of New Zealand, while the rugged peaks of Mount Tasman and Mount Cook rise out of the mountain range. This is glacier country at its best. The lack of wind—the lake is set within the dense rain forest—means Lake Matheson’s surface is calm and still. The reflection photo opportunities have made this lake the most photographed body of water in New Zealand (and that is saying something). The walk around the lake takes about an hour and a half, and you have three viewing platforms offering exceptional perspectives along the way. Hit the trail just before sunset and have a glass of Otago Pinot Noir at the cafe while you watch the sun set over those mountains. The cafe opens at 5:30 p.m. and I’d suggest the mushroom risotto.

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