Today we retraced another drive we first took in 2011, albeit in reverse. The narrow isthmus between Lakes Wanaka and Hawea was a mindblower when we saw it on our first trip, and was no less impressive this time. Both lakes are enormous, among the largest and deepest in New Zealand, and they are separated by a neck of land perhaps a mile wide. Both lakes are surrounded by snowy peaks, and today were nearly mirror-like, with barely a hint of breeze.
I'm certain we took a virtually identical photo last time - and how could we not? This is the view of Lake Hawea that greets drivers about 10 seconds after turning east away from Lake Wanaka. Further around the shoreline on the right of the photo, the road curves south toward the resort town of Wanaka.
This is the view in the opposite direction (and note the distinctive double-topped peak on the left):
And about 400 meters in that direction is a separate roadside overlook view of Lake Wanaka:
If you look carefully you'll see the same double-peaked mountain at the center of the photo above. Only in New Zealand could two spectacular overlooks be separated by less than a quarter mile!
And that's the main takeaway (and reminder from our previous visit to NZ): the scenery is unrelenting, gorgeous in every direction.