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On Walkabout at: Lake Matheson, New Zealand

The next day after our visit to New Zealand’s incredible Fox Glacier, my wife and I were going to hit the road and head to the South Island tourist Mecca of Queenstown. However, before proceeding to Queenstown we planned on awaking early in the morning and taking a walk around the beautiful Lake Matheson. Lake Matheson is mostly well known to photographers because of the incredible views of Mt. Cook seen from the lake:

Early in the morning we awoke at the campervan park we were staying at and saw that the weather was much improved from the cold and wet weather we had to deal with the day prior while visiting the glacier. The skies were clear and incredible views of the Southern Alps were possible in all directions:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Here is a closer look at the summit of this beautiful snow capped peak:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Of course on such a clear morning as this one turned out to be, the sky was filled with the buzzing noises of tourist helicopters giving tourists their own incredible views of these amazing mountains:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

I wish I had the money to budget to do one of those helicopter rides because they are very expensive. But hiking is not expensive and that is what I came to Lake Matheson to do:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

The walk around Lake Matheson is actually quite easy and only takes about an hour to do:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

The walk starts by crossing over a bridge the extends across this small creek running by the lake:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Once across the creek the trail then enter the thick South Island bush:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Considering the amount of precipitation the West Coast receives it was not surprising to find many large ferns lining the trail:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

What I did find interesting though was that in the whole time I was in New Zealand not once did I see ferns or trees that even rival the size of Australian trees found in places such as the Otway Ranges which receive less rainfall then New Zealand.

After about 15 mintues of walking I came upon my first view of Lake Matheson:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Lake Matheson was created about 14,000 years ago when the Fox Glacier extended out to the sea and cut out the hole the lake currently sits in. When the glacier retreated water melted into this hole forming the lake. There are many lakes like this on New Zealand’s West Coast but none that provides views as stunning as the ones found on this lake:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

If you notice I did not get to the lake early enough to get the perfect lighting needed to photograph reflections off the lake’s surface. The scenery was still quite beautiful even though the direct sunlight kind of limited my photography.

I also found I wasn’t the only one enjoying the view on the lake; Lake Matheson has a number of ducks on it that I saw swimming around and looking for an early morning meal:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Further down the trail I found the location where most of the iconic Lake Matheson photographs are taken but unfortunately the lighting was not good for taking photos of the reflection off of the lake:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

This would be my last view of the lake as the trail headed once again back into the bush:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

The trail eventually opened up outside the park land and offered sweeping vistas across the adjacent farmland of New Zealand’s Southern Alps:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

No mountains were more majestic then Mt. Tasman to the left and Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest point at 3,754 meters (12, 316 feet) to the right:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Here is a closer look at the impressive Mt. Cook:

Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand

I may have not have been able to take the iconic Lake Matheson photograph but I still had an incredibly great time taking in these sweeping vistas that can only be found in this beautiful country of New Zealand.

Next Posting: New Zealand’s West Coast

Prior Posting: Video the Fox Glacier

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