That Wanaka Tree at Sunrise

Wanaka Tree Sunrise: a burning red sky at the famous lonely tree in Lake Wanaka. New Zealand photography by Laurie Winter.

That Wanaka Tree is instantly recognised as an iconic New Zealand photography subject. Polarising amongst photographers, due to the sheer volume of photos taken, I fall in the "can't help but love it" camp and have several photos at this location. She makes a great subject from multiple angles - either with the sunrise over the Wanaka township, or the mountains of Mt Aspiring National Park behind. Originally a fence post, the tree has thrived on its own semi-submerged in Lake Wanaka. Attracting visitors from all around the world, and believed to be one of the most photographed trees around. Sadly, the tree was maliciously damaged in early 2020 and no longer has the beautiful lower branch that made it so attractive. 

 

This particular photo was taken in 2016, during my first year of photography and my very first visit to photograph the tree. Both new to photography and the long exposure genre, I could not believe my luck to have such an amazing display of colour in the sky. The colour carried on for ages, allowing me to take numerous photos during the morning. Although I have returned frequently and have had more beautiful sunrises and sunsets here, this will go down as the most epic sunrise at That Wanaka Tree that I have captured. This photo is also my best-selling print.  

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