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Return of the Gault, West Coast

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Return of the GaultIntermediate

Submitted by Stephanie Berry

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Trail Information





West Coast

Fox Glacier

Urban fringe

Out and Back

Very hilly

Native bush


2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



After or during rain this track will be extremely muddy.

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Starting at the same point as the Lake Matheson track you head out on a beautifully graded single track. After about 600m you come to a junction where you take the right track as if you were heading anti-clockwise around Lake Matheson. After a further 600 or so metres you willreach the sign for the Lake Gault turnoff... this trail used to be a 'Wild' trail, however during 2020 it was given the tourist treatment and is now basically a gravel footpath. Don't let that fool you though... it's not easy... after a pretty flat first km, you will climb nearly 300m in the next 2.5km... then you will descent a bit on the other side to a seat and the lake. Once you have had your fill, retrace your steps... if you have great knees then you willhave an awesome downhill, if you don't then I suggest your shoes with the best cushioning.

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Features of interest

Lake Gault was used to service the hydroelectric scheme in the 1930's & 40's. It is now home to New Zealand's rarest kiwi, the rowi after some were relocated from Okarito. The track had been closed for over 20 years but thanks to a Fox Glacier community initiative the track has been recut and reopened thanks to the many, many hours put in by community volunteers in collaboration with DOC.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 80%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

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  • Access

    Lake Matheson Carpark - travel down Cook Flat Road from Fox Glacier Township for approx. 5kms and turn right into Lake Matheson Road then follow this road until you reach the carpark.

    Plenty of safe parking

    5 km

    5 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.


    Extremely muddy after rain
    Weather very changeable

  • Post run indulgence

    Lake Matheson Cafe
    Lake Matheson
    Great food

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