Lake Matheson is possibly one of the South Island’s if not New Zealand’s premiere short walks and arguably the most photographed. Most photographers go there in the hope of capturing the picture perfect reflection of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. We commonly call it the elusive million dollar photo. The conditions have to be near perfect often meaning an early start to beat the onset of wind for the day.
The most unfortunate thing with all the hype about the reflection photo is many miss the actual beauty of the walk itself.
On a recent visit to South Westland we took the walk around the Lake Matheson and were continually commenting how under-rated it is as an actual walk. We saw many people at the beginning coming back from the first lookout point. For us we continued on and were not disappointed. The forest is spectacular with Rimu and Kahakitea trees towering above us.
For the most part it is a gentle meander around the edge of the lake although once on the northern side there is a short incline to keep the heart rate honest. While we may not have got the mountain reflections, in closer to the edge of the lake it was still enough to get some reflections of the vegetation.
The overcast day also meant the greens of the forest were popping.
So next time you find yourself in Glacier Country don’t say no to walking around Lake Matheson if the wind is up, just take it for what it is a really lovely walk in the native bush – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Coast Road north of Greymouth. They enjoy getting out and about and exploring the West Coast and sharing their discoveries. Thank you to Jacqui and John from Mahitahi Lodge Bruce Bay for outstanding hospitality during our recent visit and Bernie & Gerard from Holly Homestead in Franz Josef for looking after the “kids”.