I have known about Lake Matheson since I was a child and first visited it when hitch hiking around the South Island at the end of my last year at high school. It had a reputation that was known the length of New Zealand for producing perfect reflections of the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mount Cook in the early morning before the breezes arrived, provided of course it wasn’t raining or there was low cloud. Just a short 5 minute drive from the Fox Glacier village and a 15 minute walk to the end of the lake will reward visitors with the famous views of the mountains. Over the years tens of thousands of visitors have visited the lake to admire the reflections. Millions of photographs have been taken.
At the end of the day visitors can travel a further 8 km westwards along Cook Flat Road to Gillespies Beach Road to obtain an evening view of the Southern Alps as the sun goes down. A special viewing area has been provided by the Department of Conservation near where the Fox River joins the Cook River. Here the view is shared with grazing cattle.
I have visited this area three times over the years and it never fails to leave an impression, although the weather has not always been obliging for the views.