Lake Matheson – Day 123
Walking around Lake Matheson (and eating a lot of food)
Today we are walking around New Zealand’s most reflective lake, Lake Matheson at Fox Glacier. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities plus loads of travel tip videos, consider subscribing to the BackpackerGuide.NZ Youtube channel!
Today we are making our way to a photographer’s dream. One of New Zealand’s most reflective lakes, Lake Matheson or Mateson I still don’t know how to pronounce that and that’s not even a Maori name.
Today we are heading to the most reflective lake in New Zealand which is lake Matheson. So as soon as we get to the car park we are wasting no time and heading straight to the walk that leads to the lake. the track that is leading us to lake matheson is actually really short. It’s 40 minutes one way and there is the option to do an hour and half loop track as well. But we have a lot planned after checking out the lake so we are going for the shortest option. It takes us right through a beautiful beech forest and as soon as we enter the forest we are completely isolated from the outside world we can only see the thick native bush.
The vegetation around is really cool. it’s your classic New Zealand rainforest with the first level being some low level flax and ferns and then after you have a medium tier of trees which are usually all the ferns which have grown a little bit bigger and then finally you have the really tall and towering kahikatea trees and rimu trees it’s a really cool walk.
The track is super accessible it is very well graded very well gravelled literally anyone could go down here and check out this awesome rainforest and head toward Lake Matheson. Although we’re just expecting a walk to the lake we surprised to find this amazing rainforest on the way there. All the trees are covered in small vegetation like moss and tiny ferns as well. And then we arrive at our first glimpse of Lake Matheson. Lake Matheson was formed about 14,000 years ago by the Fox Glacier as it was retreating it left this huge depression in the ground which has filled up with water and created this beautiful lake.
But this is far from the main viewing point of the lake. We have in our mind this really classic New Zealand pictures of the mountain and the forest reflective over the dark lake and we really want to see this one. And after a very short walk we arrive at the massive platform. It’s a wooden carved platform overseeing the lake and it gives us this amazing view. The reflection is absolutely amazing. And Laura and I stay here for hours taking heaps of pictures. The water is super reflective and really placid making making the reflection even more vivid. Except for a few ducks that break the water as their swimming around.
A sign at the jetty tells us what the peaks is the background that we can see in the distance which includes two of tallest mountains in New Zealand called Aoraki Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. Although the clouds are covering those very tall peaks at the moment. The walk back to Lake Matheson base is quite quick one. As mentioned this is a one way track so we are getting back in the same way we came in giving us an opportunity to see the forest on a completely different angle. I am a huge fan of one way walks because it gets us to see so much more out of just a short walk.
But the main reason laura and I are powering through the rest of this walk is because there is some yummy food at stake. We have decided to treat ourselves today. We have been cooking for ourselves for months now and it’s time for us to actually eat something awesome cooked by someone else than Laura and I. So we have heard that the cafe at Lake Matheson was award-winning and had amazing food and this is where we decide to have lunch today. The building itself has a couple of entries then first one is going through the gift shop which is also an art gallery with heaps of kiwiana art which is local culture art. And the other entrance is where the cafe and to be honest although we spent some time looking at the art what is most interesting to us is the yummy food.
Choosing something to eat is the biggest decision of our day. There’s so much to choose from European Asian classic New Zealand food, but we end up going for delicious BLT baguette and I go for salmon and ramen noodle broth. A little bit of everything here. and we get beautiful views in the distance while we get to eat some amazing food.
And that’s all topped off with a couple of our favourite types of deserts which is carrot cake and frangipani for Robin.
Laura and I really felt like we needed a bit of a slower day today. It has been absolutely hectic I mean can you guys remember how many activities we’ve done in literally the last month? It’s absolutely crazy. So as soon as we head back to the Ivory Towers in Fox Glacier we are getting in touch with some friends of ours which are actually in the area as well. We met them when we were in Auckland and they are currently backpacking in the South island and tonight we are going to be meeting one of our friends at the Bigfoot restaurant which is probably the most popular backpacker restaurant here in Fox Glacier.
The bigfoot bar is pretty famous in Fox Glacier especially for having those foot made of paper that every traveller can draw on to leave its mark behind. As a french person I have to draw our french emblem which is the cock. Laura and Lindsay my friends from the US, are getting onto the drawing as well laura is drawing something unusual for an English person which is a cactus with a sombrero on it while Lindsay is drawing up a picture of Milford Sound. She is actually currently working for the Department of Conservation doing some kiwi conservation down in Fiordland so I can see where she gets here inspiration from.
The competition is pretty tough between Lindsay and I who can draw the best amazing creation on their bare big foot.
I like both of them. I love em I I it’s a tie.
You’ve just met Lindsay’s mum which is travelling with her around New Zealand for a couple of weeks and because they have a lot planned they are going to bed really early and we are left alone Laura and I eating some awesome food again we are going for some pizzas right now because we felt like our yummy food this afternoon was healthy enough but we can’t help ourselves and have to finish with some really yummy yummy deserts.
We’ve finished with a nice desert with cheesecake and Laura’s having a chocolate mouse mmmmm we are in for a great night at Ivory Towers before finally leaving Fox Glacier tomorrow but not without before checking out the terminal face of the glacier.