That Wanaka Tree – Wanaka, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

That Wanaka Tree

A solitary tree has grown up all alone on Lake Wānaka, backdropped by the beautiful Southern Alps. 


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 Wānaka.

Known as the “lone tree of Lake Wānaka,” 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.

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, 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 Wānaka, swimming is a great way to awaken the senses.  

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 Wānaka, all alone.

Know Before You Go

The easiest way to access this iconic tree is via a car park located just a two minute walk away. This car park is found at the start of the Waterfall Creek Track.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web