Glacier Country

Fox Glacier is a very popular attraction on the South Westland area of New Zealand.  The glacier runs 13km on its journey from the Southern Alps to the coast, with a 2,600m drop along the way.  It ends in rainforest, just 300m above sea level.

Terminal Face, Fox Glacier (December 2006)

The terminal face is easily accessible, just 6km from Fox Glacier township, and an easy walk from the car park.

Lake Matheson, Mt Tasman (3497m) in the centre distance, Aoraki Mt Cook (3754m) on the right

A five minute drive west of Fox Glacier township is the very pretty Lake Matheson.  It is a lake formed many thousands of years ago by the retreating glacier, at the end of the last Ice Age.  It takes about an hour and a half to walk around the lake through native rainforest, on a well maintained track that includes boardwalks.  Best time for photographs is dawn or dusk, when reflections from New Zealand’s two highest mountains are often to be seen.

Gillespies Beach

The untamed Gillespies Beach, on the shores of the Tasman Sea, is another great place to visit, it is just 21km from Fox Glacier.  Its black sand, quartz pebbles, driftwood and gathering clouds make it make it very scenic in a wild way.

Cattle near Lake Matheson. Mt Tasman centre left, Aoraki Mt Cook on right

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