Winter/Summer at Lake Wanaka


A bitter breeze makes its way down the lake until it reaches the shoreline. Looking towards Ruby Island I feel an algid whip hit my face, sending shivers through my spine. An astonishment of nippy air gives me goose bumps causing my arm hairs to stick up like soldiers, ready to scuffle away the bitterness. I saunter towards the end of the wharf, clinching my fists tightly in my pockets to keep the coolness of the air from crawling up my arms. With every step I take, I can feel my feet sliding beneath me from the metal wiring that covers the hard wooden surface. Being very cautious trying not slip into the ferocious wavy water I take a peek at what is beneath. The waves no longer look inviting like were six months ago. Instead, they look sharp and snappy enough to freeze a soul. Scanning the rugged surface of the lake, something catches my eye.

Alone, in the distance I notice a colourless, lifeless piece of foam that rocks over the waves, tussling to stay afloat. It wants attention. Battling to get noticed by the teenagers that once spent their summer days plunging into the water. Instead, they briskly walk by and get a rapid glimpse of what summer looked like. A reminder of the hot blazing days that are gone. Birds overtake the pontoon and make nests to get cosy for the remaining dark winter days that are to come. It is the treasure chest that locks away the summer memories until it comes around again. 

I look around and all that is visible are towering snow-capped mountains reaching for crystals twirling to the flax covered ground. Leaving a thick blanket, snowflakes flutter to the bottom covering the medallion dead grass that is hiding beneath. In the distance, clusters of gloomy clouds overhang mountains. Caliginous, muted colours fill the air from the haze of the sky reflecting on the surface of the water.

A storm is approaching.


A swarm of blazing air swoops through the islands making its way to the lakefront. Looking towards the array of boats an icy splash of water strikes my face, sending a coolness through my body. A refreshing breeze pirouettes around me. For a moment, I forget about the sun’s blazing rays that are tardily roasting my skin. I scamper to the end of the wharf, each of the scorching wires burning my feet with every stride I take. 

Calming waves roll up on the shore and wrap around people’s feet inviting them to dash and dive in. Sticky, searing, sweat splashes off of me as I do not hesitate to leap into the thawed puddle of snow that is surrounded by mountains. As I am scrutinising the tranquil water I can’t help but notice the arms and legs scrambling through the body of aqua, that only has their mind-set on one thing: the pontoon. Groups of teenagers pile on and spend their whole day springing into the water until the sun tucks in behind the horizon. Already overflowing with dozens of people, the birds no longer nest at the pontoon.Instead, they dance in the draping Willows. Its dull, chiffon coloured surface burns my eyes from the reflection of the sun’s rays that are slowly fading away into the distance.

Bare, colossal mountains loom in the distance as they soar up through the candyfloss clouds. Sultry weather devours the rug of sleet, leaving the thawed snow trickling down the steep edgy cliffs. No longer covered, the dry, fawn flax is all that is visible as it lies over the rugged mountain face.

A mirror of scintillating blue and canary, paint a picture on the flat, glass lake.

The hot blistering days have arrived.







2 thoughts on “Winter/Summer at Lake Wanaka”

  1. Hi Christina! A great start. I like the use of your punchy sentence at the end. At the moment, your piece has a very “listed” feeling to it in places- think about how you can get your ideas to flow seamlessly into each other.

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