Soaking in the Majesty of the Southern Alps in New Zealand
The town of Wanaka sits nestled in a valley on the country’s South Island. The valley is crowned by a ring of snow-capped peaks that stand in the distance like sentinels. Lake Wanaka wraps itself around the flank of the little hamlet, gleaming blue in the sunshine and reflecting a mirror image of the majestic Southern Alps. In fair weather, the shore teems with the chatter of life, both human and animal. Tourists line up to crowd onto small boats to catch a glimpse of the untamed mountains. Children race along the beach, offering breadcrumbs to ducks that have grown as tame as household pets. Less adventurous couples hold hands and stroll along the water. Sitting on the terrace of a café, the distant whine of a jet-ski drifts to their ears on the gentle breeze. At times the peace of the beach is interrupted by the chug of a boat docking. The quiet returns quickly as the crowd disperses into nearby shops to hunt for souvenirs. As evening approaches, the glassy surface of the lake deepens to slate gray. The beach empties and the boats slumber peacefully at the docks.