Our speedy driving skills along the windy roads from Lake Hawea meant that we arrived in the Fox Glacier township with plenty of time to spare before we had to report for our guided glacial walk. So, we packed our lunch and decided to walk the circuit around the nearby famous Lake Matheson to find a pretty picnic spot. Lake Matheson is apparently the world’s most photographed lake, with its ‘mirror’ properties and stunning views of Fox Glacier and a snow capped Mount Cook (yes, even in summer!). The circuit took us approximately 1.5 hours to complete at a very leisurely pace, inclusive of a long lunch break at one of the less populated lookouts and several photo stops.
Several backpackers that we had met during our travels had suggested to us that the best time to visit Lake Matheson was just before dawn and the tour buses arrive, because of the serenity and the beautiful colours. If you do decide to do this, make sure you take the shorter path (approximately 30 minutes from the car park) to the jetty view point lookout. Calm and clear days are best for capturing that perfect mirror shot that Lake Matheson is known for. The best technique for doing this is to get down and dirty, and to live life on the edge (no waterproof camera luxury here!). We went to the lowest level of the jetty view point lookout (reflection island) and held our cameras over the edge of the jetty and as close as we would dare to the water whilst kneeling or lying down. Even on a day with a bit of a breeze, we still managed to capture some sort of reflection with this method!