Places to Visit

Some of the must-do, and best places to visit, South Island & New Zealand-wide.

Lake Matheson

Lake Matherson boasts idyllic views as if you were looking at a postcard. It's New Zealand's #1 mirror lake that tourists rate as one of their favourite places of interest. Professional photographers and Kiwi enthusiasts travel especially to enjoy the experience. The Fox glacier region's air is likely to be some of the cleanest in the world and the elements will humble you with all their glory. Take time to enjoy this world-beauty either strolling its perimeter, enjoying some of the local walks and hikes, or inside the cosy Lake Matheson cafe which puts on a first class dining experience. Lake Matheson is a "must do" on anyone's list who's traveling the south island of New Zealand.

Lake Gault

Lake Gault is another favourite in amongst places of interest in NZ. It's a 3.5 hour round-trip hike in which you'll enjoy breathtaking viewpoints of Lake Matheson. It's not common but you may spot a Kiwi, and you're more likely to spot their footprints if you look carefully. So step quietly, keep your ears open and listen for the clumsy footsteps of New Zealand's iconic, flightless bird. If you hear them coming, stop, stay still and admire without getting too close - Leave nature as intended. The track cuts through ancient Podocarp forests and weaves its way up to the very scenic Lake Gault hosting spectacular views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and the Southern Alps. It's one of the best places to visit, South Island & New Zealand wide. Finally, you'll get to relax and reminisce in style with a hot Barista made cuppa of your choice in the Lake Matheson Cafe.

Glow Worms

New Zealand's Glacier Country is home to a variety of glow worms. These amazing creatures emit light that can be used to attract prey. The light is produced by a chemical reaction in the worm's body. The light is also used to communicate with other glow worms. When two worms meet, they will touch each other's lights to exchange information. They are an important part of the ecosystem and help to control the population of insects and they can be found in various location along the west cost of New Zealand, including Lake Matheson - One of the must-do places to visit, South Island-wide when traveling.


Franz Joseph and Fox Glacier are two of New Zealand's most popular glaciers that you can walk, touch and experience first-hand while visiting Glacier country. Of all the places of interest, the glaciers need to be near the top of your list. Fox Glacier is the largest of the two, and is located in the Southern Alps. It is a popular destination for ice climbing and mountaineering. Fox Glacier is located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. It is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and skiing and heli tours. Both glaciers are about 12 kilometers long and flow down from the Southern Alps. These glaciers are unique because they are among the few glaciers in the world that flow into the rainforest.

Jetty Viewpoint

How long will it take? This is a 40-minute return walk from the car park to the jetty. The first section of the walk from the car park at the end of Lake Matheson Road to the Jetty Viewpoint is suitable for assisted wheelchairs. After crossing the Clearwater suspension bridge, the walk to the Jetty Viewpoint takes you past tall Kahikatea and Rimu, as well as a rich profusion of smaller plant varieties. The Jetty provides a magnificent mountain view reflected in the dark waters. It's comfortable for all fitness levels and absolutely worth the investment. The viewpoint is on-point even on an overcast day. The lake is known as one of the famous world-renowned mirror lakes that makes you feel as if you're looking at a postcard. It's a New Zealand icon, renowned as the most untouched, natural places to visit, South Island-wide. Enjoy.

Matheson Lake Circuit

How long will it take? This is a 90-minute return walk.

After walking to the Jetty Viewpoint, continue further around the lake. You will find a similarly magnificent mountain reflection shrouded in native foliage at the View of Views at the top end of the lake, and again at Reflection Island.

Dawn and dusk are the best viewing times as the lake is generally calm. Again, in amongst the best places of interest, within the South Island for nature lovers.

Lake Matheson - Cafe - Reflectionz Gallery