Lake Matheson in New Zealand, often referred to as the “mirror lake”, was created when Fox Glacier retreated almost 14,000 years ago. The lake is a 30 minute drive from Franz Joseph or a 5 minute drive from Fox Glacier.
We visited the lake one evening from Franz Joseph. At Lake Matheson, we discovered that there’s a picturesque walkway that goes around the lake. At a leisurely pace, the walk around the lake take about about two hours to complete. There is also a famous cafe at the starting/ending point of the walk, which is worth a visit.
The lake is so peaceful and beautiful that we could have easily spent a whole evening there had it not been that we had to return to Franz Joseph.
The Mirror Lake
The mirror-like reflecting properties are due to the dark brown colour of the waters, the result of organic matter leached from the humus of the forest floor. On a good day, one can see the reflection of Mount Cook in the lake. Unfortunately, the day we visited Lake Matheson clouds had covered the peak. But we still managed to enjoy the incredible reflections of the surrounding trees.
The lake is absolutely still and that lends a very serene environment and aura to the its surrounding area. It’s so easy to get lost in one’s thoughts while walking around Lake Matheson. What was also beautiful to observe was the amount of life just teeming around the lake. Birds and plants, all so abundant.
Lake Matheson is definitely worth going to enjoy not just the reflection of the trees and mountains, but to simply lose yourself in its serenity.