Brilliant gem of a lake


The natural jewels in our nation’s crown inspire spiritual awe and superlatives. It was one brilliant view after another during our trip round the South Island. Brilliant barely suffices as an adjective.

And the view of views?

Radiant and resplendent, Aoraki Mount Cook mirrored in the World Heritage water of Lake Matheson in the Franz Joseph glacial area on the West Coast of New Zealand.

Aoraki Mount Cook Reflected in Lake Matheson
Iconic view of views. Lake Matheson mirrors snow-clad Aoraki Mount Cook.

During our round-the-lake walk through ancient rainforest, I had to remind myself to put the mobile phone down and look at the here-and-now view before me rather than viewing the scene through the lens of a camera. It was also preferable than walking into other tourists on the track also distracted while taking photos.

In truth, we could not fail to stop.  Proud to be a New Zealander, I am aware of the spiritual significance of the mountain to the Ngai Tahu people. Nature commands deep respect and the links that lead to some stories of Maori relationship to nature are worthy of our attention. And how could we not become mesmerised by the ancient grandeur of the magnificent mirror image of this iconic mountain in the glassy lake water?  It is a place of  peace and tranquility.

Camera in backpack, we moved on having learned that the lake’s

excellent reflecting properties are due to the dark brown colour of the water – the result of organic matter leached from the humus of the forest floor.

Brilliant, sparkling like a multi-faceted diamond, shining in the light.

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