Lake Gault

Image: Isobel Campbell | DOC

Introduction

A gradual climb on a historical tramping track through ancient podocarp forest provides panoramic views of Aoraki /Mount Cook. If you’re lucky, you can enjoy the mountain landscape reflected in Lake Gault.

Track overview

8 km return return via same track

Walking and tramping

3-5 hr return Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track

About this track

Description

Beginning from the Lake Matheson carpark, follow the Lake Matheson /Te Ara Kairaumati walk in an anti-clockwise direction before branching off to Lake Gault.

The track gradually climbs 200 m through original podocarp forest with several small stream crossings.

As the track flattens out, you’ll catch glimpses of Lake Gault through the vegetation. Continue several minutes to the lookout point.

This spot offers incredible panoramic views of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. On a still day, these peaks are perfectly reflected on the surface of Lake Gault.

Early morning is the best time for mirror views, when the lake is calm and before clouds obscure the mountains.

In April 2019 this track was re-opened after a 20-year closure thanks to the efforts of local volunteers. This initiative was led by the Fox Glacier Community Development Society in partnership with DOC.

Getting there

Turn onto Cook Flat Road in the middle of Fox Glacier Weheka township. Travel 5 km along this road then turn right onto the side road to Lake Matheson. The track starts from the Lake Matheson carpark. 

Know before you go

  • Expect mud, wet feet, and steep, rough and uneven terrain. 
  • Carry drinking water, food, insect repellent, sun protection and warm, waterproof clothing at all times. Tramping boots are advisable.
  • Toilets are located at the Lake Matheson car park.
  • This track is not recommended in heavy rain.

Contacts

Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 752 0360
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   69 Cron Street
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Postal Address:   PO Box 14
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Hokitika Office
Phone:   +64 3 756 9100
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   hokitika@doc.govt.nz
Address:   10 Sewell Street
Hokitika 7810
Postal Address:   Private Bag 701
Hokitika 7842
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