It’s the big aquatic jewel that won’t let go of your eyeballs. The locals say they never get sick of staring at its serene surface; it makes their commute to work a soothing, non-frowny affair. The water in Lake Wanaka is happy water – it gets to flow however it likes without bossy human intrusion. The Lake Wanaka Preservation Act made it so back in 1973 and continues to thwart any meddling with water levels and shoreline. It’s New Zealand’s fourth-largest lake and was carved into being by successive artful glaciers (thank you, ice ages). So, whether you get on top of it, pay homage from its shores or pluck scaly things from its depths, it’ll repay your kindly attention.