The sun glints off the water in the summer, as it slowly burns the people sitting on the banks of the cool, inviting lake that is lapping against the shore. I can look around and see that the lakefront is alive, full of people enjoying the warm weather they never want to say goodbye too. The lake is full of people swimming, people splashing around in the shallows. People floating around in the cool water, having fun and escaping the scorching heat. The pebbles that lie beside the lake are superheated and people are comically hopping from foot to foot trying to prevent their feet from being singed by the heat. I gaze out across the water, over by Ruby Island, and see boats skimming across the surface of the water. I gaze over towards the jetty and see even more crowds of people, plummeting off the side, hoping to gain a relief from the scorching heat, even for a brief moment, until they are urged by their friends to clear the area so others can enjoy the small escape. To the left of me, there is the Wanaka Tree, with even more crowds of people, people are queuing up to get a photo opportunity with the tree that sits out in the middle of the water with the backdrop of bare mountains.
In winter the sun still glints off the water, but it is weaker than in the summer, it lacks the brightness and heat it once had, it is just there. The lake is now perfectly still, it now only has a slight ripple. The only people on the lakefront are still sitting on the shore, but they are sitting further back from the water and they are rugged up warm. They have several layers on and they seem to be reluctantly there. The lake is now empty, devoid of all life except for the occasional swimmer, dedicated to their training in the freezing cold lake. The people strolling on the pebbles are now walking slower because of all their layers, not because of the extreme heat. I look over to Ruby Island and see no boats, their owners not wasting a day that could be spent doing many other things more suited to the conditions. The jetty is still full of life, but now it is the tourists, that come pouring in on their buses and they are taking photos and selfies of their travels. The photos to show their friends back home. The Wanaka Tree is still as busy as ever because is it really a trip to Wanaka without visiting it. But the mountainous backdrop is now coated in white snow, providing a new beauty.