The beginning of the Lake Mathieson loop track which leads to the Lake is at the end of Lake Mathieson Road. And is approximately 2 hours’ drive from Hokitika, and 2 hrs 45 minutes from Greymouth.
Things To Do At Lake Mathieson
Aside from taking a lot of pictures of the Lake – what else is there to do at Lake Mathieson?
Lake Mathieson Circuit Track
One of the best things to do at Lake Mathieson is to enjoy the nearby walks. The most popular walk is the full Lake Circuit Track that makes a nice loop around the edges of the lake. This walk takes approximately 1.5 hours and is 2.6 kilometers in length and is considered fairly easygoing.
Lake Matheson Café
Open every day from 8 am until late, the Lake Matheson Café is right next to the start of the Lake Mathieson walkway. Great coffee, great views, and an awesome outdoor deck area make the café the perfect place to refuel after your walk.
The Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the summer months and restricts its hours to 8 am to 3 pm during the winter months serving only breakfast and lunch. Don’t miss the ‘Big Bacon, Hash Brown & Egg Butty’ – a classic kiwi take on a toasted sandwich – this one will definitely keep you going for the day!
ReflectioNZ Gifts and Gallery Store
Not that great at photography? Head on over to the ReflectioNZ Gifts and Gallery for a great selection of giftware, homeware, and souvenirs to take home with you – including Pounamu jewelry.
The Gift store is open every day from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm from November through to March, closing at 4.30 pm for the rest of the year.
Lake Mathieson – What You Need To Know
Being one of New Zealand’s most photographed Lakes be sure to remember to bring your camera! Here are a few other things you should know when visiting Lake Mathieson.
- Dogs are not permitted at the Lake.
- Kayaking or boating is not permitted on the Lake.
- Public toilets are located at the car park, there are no toilets around the rest of the Lake.
- Insect repellent is a good idea as the mosquitoes and sandflies can be ferocious.
- Always be prepared with extra clothing and good sturdy footwear.
- As with any alpine environment weather conditions can change rapidly.
Things To Do In Glacier Country
You may not know it but when visiting Lake Mathieson you’re in Glacier Country! This is one of the tourist hotspots on the West Coast and one with many exciting adventure tourism activities and attractions.
The Fox Glacier is located very near Lake Mathieson and offers guided glacier tours and scenic flights. Many people combine a visit to the Fox Glacier and Lake Mathieson into a one-day trip.
Franz Joseph Glacier
The Franz Joseph Glacier is also nearby and provides kayaking, jet boating, whitewater rafting, clay target shooting, and of course, scenic flights over the glacier – for those seeking a bit of action and adventure.
Franz Joseph Hot Pools
After your walk around Lake Mathieson relaxation is probably what you are after. Stop off at the Franz Joseph Hot Pools on the way home and enjoy the tranquil warm waters surrounded by lush rainforest. Open year-round, there are three large pools to choose from with three smaller private pools also available at an extra cost.
Spa And Massage Treatments
Want to go all out? Feel totally rejuvenated with a relaxing massage provided on-site by professional massage therapists and then soak away your worries in the hot pools. What better way to end your day trip to Lake Mathieson and Glacier Country.