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Lake Matheson, near the Fox Glacier in South Westland, New Zealand, is famous for its reflected views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. A traditional mahinga kai (food gathering place) for Māori people, the lake contains long finned eel as well as being home to many water birds.

Lake Matheson
LocationSouth Westland, South Island
Coordinates43°26′22″S 169°57′52″E / 43.43944°S 169.96444°E / -43.43944; 169.96444Coordinates: 43°26′22″S 169°57′52″E / 43.43944°S 169.96444°E / -43.43944; 169.96444
Basin countriesNew Zealand
Lake Matheson just after the sunset



Lake Matheson was formed by glaciation ca. 14,000 years ago. It is situated on the valley floor about 12 km from the current Fox Glacier and Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand, and Mount Tasman.


The area around the lake is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and is surrounded by native kahikatea (white pine) and rimu (red pine) trees, as well as flax and a variety of New Zealand fern species.


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