The Truth About #That Wanaka Tree

that wanaka tree

#That Wanaka Tree

One of the most famous spots on Instagram in New Zealand is a picture of a lonely tree in a lake, otherwise known as “That Wanaka Tree” or #thatwanakatree! In fact, this tree has become somewhat of a symbol of New Zealand tourism and is a place that photographers gather regularly to try and capture their own unique shot to share on Instagram under the hashtag #ThatWakakaTree!

We visited That Wanaka Tree the other day to see what all of the hype was about all for ourselves, and well, what we discovered was less than expected.

Why is this tree so famous? What makes it so special? Where is it? What is it like to visit? All of the questions you may have surrounding “That Wanaka Tree” are answered here!

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Where Is The Wanaka Tree?

That Wanaka Tree is located right in the town of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island.

Wanaka is a small town only about a 1-hour drive from the tourist hub of Queenstown.

Besides the tree, Wanaka is also famous for nearby hikes such as Roy’s Peak, Diamond Lake Walk the beautiful Wanaka Lake, and surrounding mountains, as well as amazing restaurants.

wanaka lake
The is the bay where That Wanaka Tree is located.

What Is So Special About The Tree?

To be honest, it is a really unique place for a tree. Standing alone only a few meters into the lake sits the lonely tree. It is unusual but also beautiful with the lake setting and mountains in the backdrop. That Wanaka Tree does really make for gorgeous photos, and it is a beautiful representation of some of the unique sights in New Zealand.

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Why Is The Wanaka Tree So famous?

Instagram is a pretty powerful platform these days. That Wanaka Tree is famous on Instagram and thousands of photographers have posted incredible photos using the hashtag #ThatWanakaTree. This hashtag has made the tree famous, and now famous photographers, as well as just interested tourists, gather around the tree trying to make their claim to fame with the best #thatwanakatree photo!
that wanaka tree

What Is It Like To Visit?

We decided to check out That Wanaka Tree for ourselves the other day. We went for the golden hour, to watch the sunset behind the mountains behind the tree.

When we arrived there were already many people gathered on the beach around the tree. Photographers were set up along the water’s edge with their tripods and multiple lenses.

Overseas tourists took selfies on smartphones, some people were videoing with GoPros and I could even hear a drone hovering overhead. It was definitely a tourist attraction.

The number of people there definitely was a distraction from what could’ve been a beautiful place to sit and watch the sunset. Some people were actually walking up to the tree in the freezing cold lake to get their picture take with the tree!

Of course, Daniel got right in there next to the other photographers to try and get that perfect shot, but as luck would have it, the sunset was not very good that evening and our photos turned out to be only average.

photographing that wanaka tree
I was surprised at how many people were at the tree especially since it wasn’t the busy season for tourists in Wanaka!
sunset photo of that wanaka tree
The best sunset photo we could get!

Is The Wanaka Tree Worth A Visit?

Truthfully, not really. Like a few of the other over-photographed places in New Zealand, the sheer number of tourists can take away from the magic. With found this to be the case when we visited the Church of Good Shepard, another inst famous spot in New Zealand’s South Island.

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Instead, get creative! Go hiking! Explore places that are less know and come up with a new beautiful image that nobody else has ever taken before. To us, that is the best way to get a gorgeous photo!

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