Hāwea Flat teacher wins year's worth of Patagonia goodies for top photo

by Kim Bowden - Dec 08, 2023

A Hāwea Flat teacher's shot snapped while cycling beside Lake Wānaka has been judged the grand winner of this year's Crux Photo of the Day competition.

Jennie Lyall will be dining out on a year's worth of goodies from award-winning ice creamery and chocolaterie Patagonia.

Ms Lyall says her winning photo was taken on an afternoon bike ride around Lake Wānaka.

The teacher from Hāwea Flat, Jennie Lyall, who's taken out the grand prize from Patagonia Chocolates for the Crux Photo of the Day competition for 2023.

"It captures everything I love about this area - the lake, the mountains, the weather. The lake was quite low at that point but had really cool puddles that just captured the reflections."

The photo was voted by Crux readers as their favourite for November, when the theme for photographers was 'reflections'.

It joined Gagan Grewal's spring-themed 'Wānaka Street' and Luke Smeets' pet-themed 'Margot', readers' top picks from September and October, in the running to be crowned the overall champ.

While more than a thousand votes were cast in addition to hundreds of Facebook likes and comments, the unenviable job of picking an overall winner fell to Photo of the Day sponsors Patagonia.

Patagonia's Valentina Escobar says the team "loved" all three of the photos chosen by readers and the end result was a "close call", but Ms Lyall's winning image captured "the beauty of New Zealand's backcountry and the charm of Wānaka".

Patagonia's itself secured its own impressive win this year - its Hazelnut Cremino ice cream, which begins with a handmade paste using Central Otago hazelnuts, was named supreme champion at the NZ Ice Cream and Gelato Awards in September.

Ms Escobar says sharing the joy of their win with another worthy community winner felt like a good fit for the local business, which has stores in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Wānaka.

The prize of a year's worth of treats is a chance to "spread Patagonia happiness", Ms Escobar says.

Ms Lyall says she entered the competition last-minute and is grateful to have been chosen as the winner.

"It's a really awesome, generous prize...I'm really looking forward to the year of different treats."

Her favourite pick off the menu, Patagonia's iced chocolate.


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