Mirror Lakes Walk

Mirror Lakes Walk

Milford Road, Fiordland National Park

60%

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25 Rankers Reviews

21 Face-to-Face

27 Milford Sound - Fiordland National Park

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400 m return | 10 minutes return

Mirror Lakes obviously take their name from the clarity and stillness of water in the early morning. On still days the water’s surface is glassy smooth and reflects perfectly the Earl Mountains and flax bordering the lakes.

Timing

There’s a large parking area on the roadside, which between 9.30 am and 11.30 am is thronged with coaches disgorging their clients onto the walkway. Best arrive early in the morning to benefit from the still conditions and avoid the crowds in a hurry to get to their Milford cruise and return to Queenstown.

Access

Mirror Lakes are signposted 57 km from Te Anau along the Milford Road.

Track

The walkway was reopened in December of 2005 and is a showpiece construction in DoC’s portfolio. Colourful and informative interpretation panels have been designed to impart the maximum amount of information, not just on the Mirror Lakes, but on the work of the glaciers and ecosystems of the Eglinton Valley.

Geology

A clever DoC sign is written in mirror writing so that when the lakes area absolutely calm, the word ‘Mirror Lakes’ appears readable in the reflection on the water.

The gin-clear pools are actually the abandoned course of the Eglinton River, as it weaves along the flat base of the glaciated valley.

The Eglinton Valley is around 40 km long and is a classic glaciated U-shaped valley with broad grassy river flats and a meandering braided river. The beech forest borders the valley floor, but does not extend into it because of the severe frosts encountered in winter. The valley floor was farmed from 1859 as part of Te Anau Downs Station and has only recently reverted back to a more natural form.

Fauna

The lakes are home to New Zealand scaups, long-finned eels and kokopu.

During the summer months, life is prolific, with myriad bird species exploiting the productive forest edge for insects. The area is known for its population of mohua or yellow head and bats. Intensive predator control measures are being implemented by DoC to preserve these rare remnant populations. Other significant populations include South Island kaka, South Island robins, New Zealand falcons, and yellow-crowned parakeets.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

South IslandFiordlandMilford Sound - Fiordland National Park

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

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Reviews

Showing 13 reviews of 21.

Andrew Hammond's avatar

Andrew Hammond

Australia

Ranking: 6/10

Try to visit late morning or late afternoon when you don't have to compete with the masses of people coming off the tour buses. Beautiful scenery but the weed in the lake is starting to get closer to the sign. Only a short stop but worth it

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Raphaele's avatar

Raphaele

Ranking: 4/10

This stop was a big let down. The "walk" is only two minutes long. The lakes are right next to the road, not very peaceful and we've seen a handful of lakes with way more impressive reflections than this one throughout our NZ trip.

Reviewed 11 months ago

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Ilona Roeters's avatar

Ilona Roeters

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Nice short walk along the Mirror Lakes. Very nice to see the reflection of the mountains in the lakes.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Eveet De Beleir's avatar

Eveet De Beleir

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful to see the mountains in the 'mirror' of the lake. We spent 30 minutes there.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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Franziska Liebe's avatar

Franziska Liebe

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Good information signs.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Ane Pujol's avatar

Ane Pujol

Spain

Ranking: 5/10

A short walk to stretch your legs, worth a visit to take a couple of pictures by the driftwood letters. But it is not the kind of beach to take a swim or sunbathe, plus it is windy.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Vallee Manon's avatar

Vallee Manon

France

Ranking: 7/10

Peaceful stop on this spot for taking a break. The water was quiet and mountains mirrored there.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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Patricia Trigo's avatar

Patricia Trigo

Spain

Ranking: 7/10

Short walk and very easy. On a sunny day I suppose you could see the mirror, but it was raining and it was impossible to see any reflection into the small lakes.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Connor Hormell's avatar

Connor Hormell

United States

Ranking: 8/10

Neat walk in Fiordland. Has to be a clear, calm day to get a good reflection in the water. Worth stopping for. Big tourist spot so time it well.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Gavin Moffatt's avatar

Gavin Moffatt

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Wonderful views over the mountains and valleys. The reflections of the mountain range and peaks in the Mirror Lakes were exceptional.

Reviewed about 3 years ago and experienced in March 2016

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A Schultz's avatar

A Schultz

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

You drive through the woods, mountains, next to beautiful lakes - the Homer Tunnel was very scary.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Rossella's avatar

Rossella

Italy

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome - one of my favourite places. Really lucky as the weather was perfect and I could see perfectly the mirror effect!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in March 2016

David Tholander's avatar

David Tholander

Sweden

Ranking: 6/10

Really nice on a clear day. The mountains mirrored in the water.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner