This was my base camp last weekend, for a mountain bike ride up to the summit of Mount Saint Bathans.
Above the Omarama Saddle at 1553 metres, the name Hidden Lake is apt. While it’s relatively accessible by 4WD vehicle, the lake is practically impossible to spot other than from above, since it’s positioned in a high glacial basin and dammed by a field of car-sized, lichen-painted boulders that you have to scramble through for a few hundred metres. For those who make the effort though, the lake offers a rare spectacle in stunning contrast to the barren peaks that surround it.
When the sun is out, the crystal clear, green water has an undeniable magnetic pull after a day of pedaling around the peaks. There are plenty of spots deep enough to dive, yet shallow enough not to present an off-putting abyss. Just be warned – that water is cold.