After traveling through Haast Pass, a narrow fertile valley unfolds before reaching the northern shore of Lake Wanaka. Measuring 74 square miles and 980 feet deep, it is one of New Zealand’s largest lakes. The reflective alpine water encircled by mountains is pristine and picturesque. The waterfront road takes a sharp bend at The Neck, a sliver of land separating Lake Wanaka and its equally gorgeous neighbor, Lake Hawea. At the southern end of Lake Wanaka is the town of Wanaka, a summer and winter playground of about 8,500 people.