The Lake Matheson Walk is a very flat and relaxing walk suitable for anyone! We visited this beautiful place right after our Glacier Hike since it was around the area. It is nestled in a lush ancient forest and is well-known for that perfect reflection of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. On a good day, you will be able to catch that perfect still reflection from the lake and that was what made my hike here very memorable.
My journey around Lake Matheson
1. Walking through the green lush forest
We started off the hike from the carpark and through a lush green trail lined with tall trees on both sides. The weather was very cool when I was there around March, partially because of the weather and also from the tree cover. As this hike is close to the glacial areas, make sure you are prepared with a few layers of clothing so you can be ready for the unpredictable weather too.
I really enjoyed the relaxed and comfortable hike through this lush forest. We walked for about twenty minutes before reaching the Jetty Viewpoint.
2. A perfect reflection at the Jetty Viewpoint
When we got on the boardwalk, we were welcomed by an unobstructed view of the still waters of Lake Matheson. The lake was so still then and it reflected Mount Cook like a mirror. Apparently, the dark brown colour of the water caused by organic matter leached from the humus of the forest floor is responsible for that excellent reflecting property.
I easily spent ten minutes just standing around this spot to enjoy this beautiful reflection with my naked eyes. This was another moment in New Zealand when nature awed me once again.
There are two options you can pick to complete the Lake Matheson hike. I took the longer Lake Circuit (1.5 hours return route over 4.4km) since we had time then too. This route starts from the carpark and to the Jetty Viewpoint as its first stop. If you are running out of time, you can head back after seeing the magnificent views here. Otherwise, just continue on the path and complete the track around the Lake. You’ll be welcomed with really fresh air and some natural foliage at the top of the viewpoint.
I cannot recall exactly from which point I saw the below scenery, but I remembered we climbed upwards to a second viewpoint. It was exactly like what we read online when doing our research on this place, a magnificent mountain reflection shrouded in native foliage at the View of Views at the top end of the lake. It was really amazing.
What to bring
Although it is a short and easy hike, do make sure you still bring the following items for your hike:
- drinking water
- light snacks (nuts, bars, chocolates)
- insect repellant
- sun protection
- warm and waterproof clothing (best if they are layered so you can remove or add on pieces of clothing as and when necessary during the hike)
Last but not least, enjoy your walk along Lake Matheson and let me know how your experience went!