Lake Matheson: The Mirror Lake

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On this Spring morning, a cold yet refreshing mist woke me from my nap on the green bus. We arrived at Westland Tai Poutini National Park and were greeted by thickly-forested mountains and glaciers peeking from the distance. We were about to walk the circuit around Lake Matheson – a peaceful and quaint mirror lake. It was the perfect opportunity to ground myself in the beauty that was.

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

I was soon astounded by how extraordinary Lake Matheson was because it perfectly reflected Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, the high peaks towering beyond it. The natural filtration of the surrounding forest material gives the lake its brown waters, making it reflective on a calm day.

The lake is not only an impressive mirror, but a traditionally abundant place to gather food (mahinga kai). The large rimu conifers and the kahikatea trees tower over the wooden walking trail while the native eel thrive in the darkness of the lake.

Fourteen thousand years ago, Lake Matheson was formed when the Fox Glacier receded from the ocean, leaving an impression on the land that eventually filled with water. Isn’t it amazing how nature has an undeniable conscious power?

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