Saturday, February 20, 2016

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand (June 2, 2008)


Driving South from Makaroa, we entered the Otago region. As we were driving deeper in the rugged mountains that where the theatre of a late gold rush in 1860, the road entered in wide U shaped glacial valleys filled with large lakes. Lake Wanaka appeared below us as a long strip of water, that clearly filled the void left by a retiring glacier, more similar to a fiord than a lake.


Lake Wanaka
I took several panoramic of the lake (see one below), from view points easily accessible on the side of the road, and them from a great camping ground on its shore. Again, I think being in Winter was a plus, as the snow on the mountains reflecting on the lake made the view even more spectacular.  At the end of the lake there is the town of, unsurprisingly, Wanaka. Wanaka is a popular touristic destination and we stopped there to get a sandwich for lunch at a cafe on the lake shorefront. The view from that same shorefront has provided an unlikely backdrop for one of the most spectacular scenes of that movie I often cite here. Do you remember the mad ride of Gandalf when he was going to Minas Tirith on his white horse? Well, the mountains rising at the horizon are the same mountains visible from the shore of the lake in downtown Wanaka, with the lake water digitally replaced with the tall green grass!

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand (June 2, 2008)


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