In the heart of the South Island, laying beside the township of Wanaka, is a crystal clear, icy cold lake complete with alpine views that might just rival paradise. Although the township of Wanaka is a lively one with numerous cafes, bars and endless activities, when I sat by Lake Wanaka everything felt a million miles away.
Lake Wanaka, bearing in mind my limited lake knowledge, is quite a large lake spanning just over 190 square kilometres. The water is clear, clean, refreshing and rather invigorating; a testimony if you will, to the outstanding environmental landscapes that define New Zealand and a nod to the people that care for it.
The area of water nearest the Wanaka township is Roys Bay. Sitting quietly at the edge of the Bay is the equivalent of a yoga session for the soul. Some may call it time-wasting but I spent a decent amount of time drinking in the views of the extensive National Park opposite the township.
On the edge of Roys Bay, a lone tree emerges from the water. Known simply as “that Wanaka tree”, this solitary guardian of Roys Bay had a former life as part of a farm fence. Now, that Wanaka Tree is recognized nation-wide and every tourist has at least one snap of it in their holiday collection. Those with an interest in horticulture may be asking what that Wanaka Tree is? It is a…. Willow. A wet-footed willow (I may have made up that last bit).