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Sheer silence

Image of the June 2019 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
June 2019 Issue

Godley Glacier lake, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

A trip to Godley Glacier lake in winter will leave you feeling as though you’ve been transported to Narnia – a frozen, timeless land.

The lake is at the head of the long Godley Valley, reached by 4WD from Lilybank Road to Bloody Point. From there, the walk is north along a flat track towards the Main Divide. The impressive Maud Glacier lies directly ahead and, after about an hour, the silvery water of its terminal lake is reached. It’s a beautiful spot, with large boulders strewn about the shore.

To reach Godley Lake, head around Maud towards Fitzgerald Stream. Sidle to the west, around the small hill to reach Godley Hut. The first glimpse of Godley Lake is reached after another 30 minutes. Superb views of Mt Petermann (2346m) to the north-east reward the effort. The lake is about 4km long and sits directly beneath several 2400m peaks. It is fed by Godley Glacier, which is hidden from view, and access beyond here becomes difficult.

The awesome silence of this place, occasionally punctuated by the screech of a kea, has immense power – one that is rivalled only by the imposing peaks that surround it.

– Lachlan McKenzie

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24.4km in 4WD plus 3km walk
3-4 hr in 4WD; 1hr further walk
Godley Hut ($20, eight bunks)
Access 4WD to Lilybank Road end (2hr from Tekapo)

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