Lake Wombat Track

Track category

Short walk


1 hr 30 min return


3.8 km return


Track to Lake Wombat. Photo: K Henderson.
Track to Lake Wombat

Lake Wombat is a fern-lined walk which climbs steadily from the car park through rimu forest to a peaceful lake. 

Termed a kettle lake, Lake Wombat was formed by the melting of a huge piece of ice left amidst glacial debris about 9000 years ago. 

This walk offers good opportunities for bird watching if you stop quietly along the way. The lake is named after Jack Irwin, alias Wombat Jack, who sluiced for gold in the area in the 1800s.

Getting there

Drive or walk south from the Franz Josef Waiau township across the Waiho River bridge and turn left onto the Glacier Access Road or Te Ara a Waiau. Drive or walk for approximately 2km to where the Lake Wombat walk begins, signposted on the right side of the road.

Places to stay

There are a number of accommodation options in Franz Josef Waiau.

Plan and prepare

  • Check the current track conditions and weather forecasts at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre and i-SITE before starting your trip.
  • Always take warm and waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly. 
  • Carry drinking water, insect repellent and sun protection at all times.
  • Dogs are not permitted on this track.

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Find out more


DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for West Coast places


Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Address:   13 State Highway 6
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Full office details
Franz Josef Glacier Base
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Full office details

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