Reflecting on a Great Walk – Lake Matheson

lake matheson reflections

With a recent visit to the glacier region of South Westland we headed out to Fox Glacier to do the walk around Lake Matheson.

Lake Matheson is possibly one of New Zealand’s most photographed lakes.  Renown for its reflections of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, this photo appears in many New Zealand guide books.

reflections in lake matheson

I call it the elusive reflection photo or the million dollar photo.  To get those great reflections you need little or no wind and limited cloud over the mountains so you can actually see them.  Get it right though and yes she is a wowsy, a fantastic backdrop.

walking lake matheson track

admiring view lake matheson

It is a beautiful bush walk in itself, even if the reflections aren’t working on the lake.  There is something peaceful about walking through NZ native forest – our majestic trees – the Rimus and Ratas  high above and surrounded by numerous species of ferns.  The backdrop of the layers of bush and mountains  looming in the distance just all add to the atmosphere, reflections or not.

mountain reflections lake matheson

snow capped mountains lake matheson

Initially we didn’t think we were going to get the reflections with a little breeze creating just enough of a ripple.  Our timing was pretty much perfect though – late afternoon as the wind was dropping off – we just had to wait it out.  All good, we’ve got plenty of time and Stephen assures me he’s brought a head-light with him just in case……

mirror reflections lake matheson

The headlight wasn’t needed, we just stood and watched and waited.  The cloud formations were fantastic fanning across the mountain tops and toppling down the other side.  There had been a huge snow fall on the East Coast and you could tell with the colour of the clouds high above the mountains it was definitely snowing up there somewhere.

sundown lake matheson

evening reflections lake matheson

As the wind dropped we just had to contend with the bird life.  Who’d have thought!  Ducks enjoy this lake as much as the tourist traffic it would seem – but this is their home and they obviously had things to do and places to be, sliding gracefully across the water – leaving….. yes, a trailing ripple.  Thanks guys!  As the sun began to set though they found their nesting spots for the evening in amongst the reeds and the water turned more mill-pond like – just what we were waiting for.

sunset reflections lake matheson

The moon came up over the mountains – not quite the super moon but spectacular all the same.  Then as the sun set the colour started coming through and reflections were aplenty.  Click, click, click, click.  Going to be hard to choose which photos to use for this posting – oh the dilemmas we have LOL.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and exploring the many wonders of the West Coast.  With so much to see and do it is easy to see why The West Coast was named one of the top 10 regions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet.  Make sure you add it to your itinerary and take your time to soak it all up.



About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
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8 Responses to Reflecting on a Great Walk – Lake Matheson

  1. ivonne90 says:

    Great story, and I would like to be able to share Your dilemma! 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    Lovely part of the Westcoast, especially in the “off-season”. Most likely you had the lake to yourself!

    • coastingnz says:

      Normally I would have thought it would be quiet and I guess relatively speaking it was but we probably saw about another 20 or so people as various stages around the lake which I was quite surprised about. Nice to see people enjoying themselves and their visit to the West Coast though.

  3. Chris says:

    Great shots, love those reflections!

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