Lake Matheson - New Zealand

Sitting in the middle of a farmland of cows and sheep, six kilometers west of Fox Glacier township, in the West Coast region of the South Island, lies New Zealand's most famous photograph stop, Lake Matheson. A small lake that earned its fame not for its dark brown waters. Not for its west coast rain forest. Not even for the abundance of water birds and other wildlife. But famous for the reflected mirror-like images of the twin peaks of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman in its dark waters.

This ancient lake was formed about 14,000 years ago, when the Fox Glacier retreated towards the sea and carved a slight depression in the landscape that eventually became filled with water. The waters of Lake Matheson are dark brown. The discoloring effect of the water is caused by the natural leaching of organic matter from the native forest floor surrounding the lake. So on a calm day, the dark hue of the water creates the ideal reflective surface, while the participation of the surrounding forest gives the lake shelter, context and protection from the wind providing a smooth surface to produce a perfect natural mirror. Set against the backdrop of the perfectly positioned Mount Cook (or Aoraki in Maori) and Mount Tasman to reflect in the glassy lake, Lake Matheson ultimately earned itself another name, the “Mirror Lake”, which appropriately describes what it is stands for.

Visitors from around the world have come to the lake to enjoy the reflected view of the Southern Alps. Year after year, it never failed to attract more people (travelers/passers-by), especially photographers, to stop, film, photograph to get dozens of amazing vistas of this jewel in New Zealand's scenic crown.

There are two particular designated 'perfect' spot for reflection photos around the lake, the Jetty View Point and the Reflection Island. Visiting just after dawn when the water often sits incredibly still and during the afternoon sunset is the most ideal time to take a picture. Offering infinite photo opportunities, it truly is a “photographer's paradise”- you just can't get enough of her.

So they say, and so do I, nature successfully joined the right elements to create one of the most stunning and iconic views in New Zealand. While Google will give you the numerous search results of this lake, still, the best way to achieve a meaningful experience of such a magnificent lake is to see it “up close and personal”.


Post a Comment