This short, easy walk leads through a lush rimu forest to the idyllic Lake Wombat – it’s a good option for children.

Lake Wombat is a fern-lined walk which climbs steadily from the car park through rimu forest to a peaceful lake.

Termed a kettle lake, Lake Wombat was formed by the melting of a huge piece of ice left amidst glacial debris about 9000 years ago.

This walk offers good opportunities for bird watching if you stop quietly along the way.

Getting there

Drive or walk south from the Franz Josef Waiau township across the Waiho River bridge and turn left onto the Glacier Access Road or Te Ara a Waiau.

Drive or walk for approximately 2 km to where the Lake Wombat Walk begins, signposted on the right side of the road.

History and culture

The lake is named after Jack Irwin, alias Wombat Jack, who sluiced for gold in the area in the 1800s.

Know before you go

  • Check the current track conditions and weather forecasts at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre before starting your trip.
  • Always take warm and waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly.
  • Carry drinking water, insect repellent and sun protection at all times.
1 hr 30 min 3.8 km return via same track Easy: Walking track