Dawn at Makarora, and the air is so clear and winy that I could drink it in forever. (Those are sheep on the hillside outside our bedroom window.)
I mused aloud that this country reminded me of the (English) Lake District, only to be told that it was the NZ Lakes District, so no wonder. Bare hills rise up from these glacial lakes, a few sheep dot the hillsides, and there are almost no other people. This country - or at least the South Island - is quite empty.
We arrive in Wanaka for our climb up Mt. Iron.
The trail isn't long, but it's as steep as the devil. Fortunately, the views are so magnificent that you can be excused for stopping to look around on the way up.
Here are the three of us at the top, the mountains and lakes at our feet.