We had 2 nights here; our room was comfy, warm, very clean, perhaps a little compact (studio room with our son on the sofabed), and suited our needs, as our stay there was all about waiting on a heli ride onto Fox Glacier&Lake Matheson& a hike or two, depending on weather.
Myra is fantastic, full-bottle on the area&had very practical suggestions. Happily booked tours for us&recommended others which were spot-on.
We were lucky weather-wise. When we rolled into Fox township helicopter rides around Cook&Tasman would have been a waste of money as the cloud was too low, so instead we drove the 5 minutes to beautiful Lake Matheson and hiked around it. (1 hour) Even with Cook&Tasman shrouded in mist, the views from all the lookouts were amazing. The next day when it was sunny we went again for the amazing photo opportunities available.
Myra suggested the glow-worm walk, and organised torches for us that night, which was nice of her, and we really enjoyed it. I recommend you first do this 20minute walk in daylight so you don't take a wrong turn in the dark forest at night!
The motel is very close to everything, easy 5 minute walking distance to town, and if you drive down Cook Flat Rd a few minutes past the turn-off to Lake Matheson, then pull over on the side of the road&turn around, you can see the bottom of Fox Glacier, which was pretty impressive.
Incidentally, it is possible to walk to within 200m of the terminal face of the glacier. Drive to the car-park, then a 20 minute very pretty hike through the towering glacial valley (lots of waterfalls, too) to as far as is safe. (Stay behind the barriers, folks, the glacier is volatile.) Just ask Myra where to go.
If your trip is like ours - nothing actually booked&totally dependent on the weather before you decide, a bonus staying at this motel is something Myra showed us upon arrival; step out under the carport (carports - what a great idea for motels that get heaps of rain), look up - if you can see Mt Cook poking out between the other mountains, get ready to go touring immediately!
All the above were Myra's suggestions; we were very grateful to her for helping us get best value out of our 2 night stay.
Just one thing we didn't like about the motel - thin walls! We were regularly woken by noisy neighbours arguing/showering/packing&leaving in the dark. Sigh. If this is a problem, maybe Myra can stagger your room for you.
Perhaps some extra dishes for self-catering would also be handy. The few eateries in town make cooking necessary, and I had to juggle the dishes we had, but we managed, and maybe Myra would have supplied extras had I thought to ask.
Foodie tip for the Fox-bound while I think of it - if driving to Fox from the north, stop in Franz Josef township at the fairly non-descript Picnics Bakery directly opposite the Tourist Centre - fantastic breads/pastries/pies/cakes&a "Glacier Pastie" that took 2 of us to eat. Mmmmmm. We drove BACK to FJ the next day just for this bakery. Not a lot of shopping options in Fox, so stock up on all those fresh, yummy carbs while you can....btw Saturday is donut day....
Back to the motel, yes, i would happily return (we intend to), and recommend to others. It was very good value, friendly&comfortable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lake Matheson Motel is ideally located 400 metres from the town centre of Fox Glacier. While we have been proudly named after beautiful Lake Matheson for our 22 years in business, we are definitely a town based motel; while we are not on the edge of the Lake, we are only a ten drive away and the same for the Glacier. Our motto is 'simply nice'. This means we provide simple, clean and comfortable accommodation and focus on giving you good quality basics such as quality Sleepyhead beds, cotton linen, good showers, televisions and utensils. We have a 4 star grade with Qualmark. So come and enjoy our studio and 2 bedroom units, with mountain views, in a peaceful location. We have WIFI,undercover parking for all units, some spa units, King and Queen bed units, continental breakfasts, a portable BBQ and a Guest Laundry for your convenience. We hope to welcome you to Fox Glacier soon. Heather and Mike, Motel Managers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lake Matheson Hotel Fox Glacier
- Lake Matheson Fox Glacier