Framed by the South Island’s stunning Southern Alps, a lonely tree has grown up to spread its wings just off shore at the south end of Lake Wanaka.
Known as the “lone tree of lake Wanaka,” it is said to be one of the most photographed trees in all New Zealand. However you still need to have the inside scoop to find it, as 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.
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 through away from the tree, the perfect place to have a picnic and watch the sun set or rise. If you can stand the cold but refreshing water of Lake Wanaka, swimming is a great way to reach the tree.
The lone tree is right at the foothills of Mount Aspiring National Park, a World Heritage Site, acting as a doorway into even more of the breathtaking landscapes that embody the South Island of New Zealand. Try visiting when the sun is low on the horizon and there’s an abundance of colorful low light, rather than the view being bleached out by the midday sun. At this time of day you’re also more likely to find the lone tree of Lake Wanaka, all alone.
If you liked this, you’ll probably enjoy Atlas Obscura’s new book, which collects more than 700 of the world’s strangest and most amazing places: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.