Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson, New Zealand (June 1, 2008)


Probably the most photographed lake in New Zealand, lake Matheson offers a splendid view of Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman in its mirror waters. We went to the lake “early” in the morning (well, early for us), leaving Fox Glacier village as soon as we were ready. When we arrived, the lake was still covered in mist, and completely still like a glass surface (as in the panorama below).

The path to the lake
By the time we reached the place were the two mountains are mirrored (it is a 20 min walk in a dense forest) the mist had lifted, but an almost imperceptible breeze had also started to create ripples in the water, ruining the mirror effect. I actually liked it anyway, as the added texture in the water was creating interesting games of scattered light. The water of the lake is very dark (and that helps the mirror effect) due to the organic matter depositing from the surrounding forest. It is home of many waterfowls (we saw a lot of ducks and geese) and the mysterious (for us, as we didn’t see any) long finned eels. The lake was created by Fox Glacier itself, that before retiring at the end of the last ice age left the depression that is now occupied by the water.


The path going around the lake was full of tourists. Among them there was a nice asian family that asked if we could take a picture of them in front of the lake. At first I thought they were Japanese, but as soon as they started talking among themselves we realized they were Chinese. The difference being that we couldn’t understand a single word (while if they were Japanese the language should not have been so alien, given that Mayli and I at the time of the New Zealand trip were -supposedly- studying it). Well, we did find two Japanese girls later on on the path, cute in their very fashionable striped long socks with individual fingers, and had a chance of listening to them. Well... even in Japanese we still couldn’t understand a single word!

Lake Matheson, New Zealand (June 1, 2008)

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