The Lake Below the Glacier

BUSTLING CARPARK: This is the winter rush I guess!?

We had been in New Zealand for a bit over a week. Our Juicy Camper had carried us from Auckland, through Middle Earth and across the Strait to the South Island. We’d pointed further south along the rugged West Coast with only a brief stop at Monteith’s lovely Brewery. Eventually we found ourselves at the foot of the twin glaciers Fox and Franz Josef. (See the full itinerary here)

We were there to climb ice, and that is what we did. We took a helicopter onto the glacier and spent a full day climbing ice and wearing ourselves out. The day was growing late and our muscles ached, but as we headed back to our guest house we spied a sign and a road, and who could resist a sign and a road!?

The sign read ‘Lake Matheson: Not far eh bro?’ or something like that, and we figured a walk would be a nice way to ease our aching legs into the mood for a pint of Speight’s, a tasty steak, and a long sleep.

We parked the van and followed a small path as the last rays of sun popped below the trees, shining back on the snow cover peaks from which we had just returned. Lake Matheson was not, I will admit, completely unknown to us, as it enjoys some measure of fame for the awesome reflection it is known to throw across its glassy surface.

The walk was only a few kilometres and the late afternoon light, along with the incoming fog from a quick temperature drop made the stroll absolutely spectacular.

After about 45 minutes of walking and photographing, we reached our limit of strenuous exercise for the day, so we made our way back to Franz Josef for that pint.

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