Lake Matheson, Mirror Lake, New Zealand (with Map & Photos)

lake matheson

Lake Matheson
"Mirror Lake" is a very popular tourist destination and perhaps the most beautiful lake in the South Island of New Zealand. The Lake Matheson has gained such fame due to its unique feature of reflecting any surrounding objects in the water surface with great accuracy. For this lake it received another name, unofficial, more suitable in meaning - "Mirror Lake".

The origin of the Lake Matheson

Relatively recently (by the standards of our planet, of course), about 15 thousand years ago, the Fox Glacier began to gradually melt, thereby sliding down the mountains and carving with its colossal weight all kinds of depressions on its way.

One of the depressions became Lake Matheson. The glacier "went" further, leaving a hefty piece of ancient ice in the bowl of the lake formed by itself. For you to understand the scale of the events taking place then, I will give the dimensions: Mirror Lake is about 600 meters long and 200 meters wide.

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Lake Matheson

Leaving a part of itself in the bowl of the future lake, the glacier thereby, through the centuries, presented a gift to us, tourists. It is the structure of the ice, or rather the composition of the water in the Lake Matheson, that forms the amazing reflective surface. Due to the content of minerals and microorganisms that were once in the glacier, as well as due to the unique composition of the silt that covers the bottom, the lake waters are dark in color, which is also one of the factors of high reflectivity.

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Lake Matheson

But do not be afraid, in fact, the water, of course, is not dark, but the most transparent, it is just in the Lake Matheson that it acquires such a gloomy shade.

Beauty and splendor

Due to its mirrored surface, Lake Matheson has become very popular with tourists on the South Island. According to the locals, whom I am inclined to believe, the most correct time to admire the lake is early morning, when the sunrise begins and the sun paints the surrounding nature with its rays, giving new shades to everything that surrounds you; and the evening, when the sun goes down, taking the light with it and gradually plunging the world into twilight, covering the forest and lake shores with a light haze. And the high peaks of the Cook and Tasman Mountains reflected in the water surface give a slight shade of grandeur to the overall picture.

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Lake Matheson

However, nothing will prevent you from enjoying the magnificent view during the day, however, it is in the morning and in the evening that a unique atmosphere is created around the Lake Matheson, giving a little mystery and a little magic to what is reflected in its dark waters.

Lake Matheson Map