Fiordland, South Island, New Zealand
Just been over in New Zealand for a couple of weeks, touring, walking and managing to have the occasional swim. One of my favourite swims was in Lake Marian. It's in a gorgeous setting in a glacially-formed, hanging valley surrounded by the Darren Mountains.
We had a three hour walk to get there and back. The track crossed the Hollyford River on a swing-bridge, followed Marian Creek past an incredible series of waterfalls, then made a steep ascent through thick silver beech rainforest until it reached the perched valley above the tree line. Lake Marian was very full from snow melt, and the track, which circuits the lake, was under water.
The water was clear and blue and very, very cold. I swam for a maximum of five minutes, including a duck dive that made my head ache.