The Lone Tree of Wanaka Lake
Our first stop after arriving in Wanaka, was to find the infamous “lone tree of lake Wanaka”. This tree is one of the most photographed trees in all New Zealand. You need to use your head to find this spot. There are no signs directing people to the solitary tree. It’s just enough off of the beaten path to not be bothered by too many tourists unless they’ve done their research. Thankfully, we found it pretty easily, but since Elijah was asleep in the back seat, and there is some walking involved to get to the tree… Mama Bear did this one on her own.
I do, very much, like a few moments of solitude, so it was fitting that I viewed this “lone tree” on my own. Best of all, there were no other people around, not even walking anywhere near on the shores of the lake.
The lone tree is right at the foot of Mount Aspiring National Park, a World Heritage Site. It is best to visit the Lone Tree when the sun is low on the horizon and the lighting is perfectly soft and “glowy”. If you time your visit properly, and you’re an aiming photographer (haha, that second one isn’t as easy) then you might shoot an imagine image like this….
(Imagine credit: Tom Hall)
Walking along the lake to find the lone tree is a beautiful sight.
When you arrive, you’ll find beach access on the shore just a stone’s throw away from the tree. It is the perfect spot to have a picnic and watch the sun set or rise. Swimming in this lake is allowed, but the water is pretty cold! Even during our summer trip, the temperature of the water made me gasp when I dipped my toes in.
My ever-patient husband didn’t care that I stayed away way too long. He was sitting a little further down the shore when I finally got back. Eli was still asleep so we drove to another beautiful spot to admire the view of the lake and mountains from another angle.