Wanaka New Zealand April 2017 (8 photos)

This is part 5 of my New Zealand series of posts.

Wanaka is a small town, known more as a ski and summer resort town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is situated at the southern end of Lake Wanaka, at the start of the Clutha River, about an hour’s drive from Queenstown. It is considered the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, a World Heritage Site.

Mount Aspiring National Park was used as the set location for Isengaard in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Lake Wanaka is located at an altitude of 300 metres. Covering an area of 192 km2 (74 sq mi), it is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake, and estimated to be more than 300 m (980 ft) deep.

This was the my destination when I made the emergency photography stops I mentioned in my previous post:
Dragon tales of Middle Earth: Somewhere in Otago

Standing in Lake Wanaka is a lone willow tree, just off the shore at the south end of the lake, said to have been there since at least 1939.

Christchurch photographer Dennis Radermacher took a photo of this tree on a misty June day which won the 2014 New Zealand Geographic photograph of the year.

As a result, this tree suddenly became famous.

Now everyone wants to photograph it. Myself included.

I arrived around 2pm on an Autumn’s day and the water level was quite low, enabling me to walk right up to the tree. Those are the Southern Alps framing the tree in the background. There were about 20 other people there photographing it. Most people will move out of the way if you ask nicely enough, but you still have to be quick. Given the low water level, I wanted to do something with the shadows and broken reflections in the surrounding small pools of water. Black and White works well here.

I’m still waiting for that email notification from National Geographic. πŸ™‚

This is said to be one of the most photographed trees in all New Zealand.

I’d love to go back and photograph this tree under different conditions. Perhaps at sunset when the tree is completely surrounded by water, or during a storm. Things to consider for my return visit some day.

A lone willow tree.

Standing in a lake.

Near Isengaard.

Maybe it should be called…

The last of the Ents.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Dragon tales of Middle Earth: Wanaka


77 thoughts on “Dragon tales of Middle Earth: Wanaka

  1. Different movies come to mind looking at your beautiful images. That tree would feel right at home in Pan’s Labyrinth, Harry Potter, Time Bandits as well as, The Lord of the Rings. Love the black and white image.

    • You’re right. It would make a classic scene in many movies. Harry Potter is perfect ides.

      I really would love to photograph this tree in different light and conditions.

    • Thank you very much. One of my friends thinks this is the most beautiful town in the South Island of NZ. I haven’t seen enough of NZ to confirm that, but the landscape is very beautiful.

  2. A beautiful tree is standing by itself gracefully in such a breathtaking landscape! Great photos, Dragon. NG is going to like this series. πŸ™‚

    • It’s only a 3 hour flight away. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Perth is further away, at least it is from Sydney.

      Thanks very much, Lisa. You’d definitely enjoy photographing this tree and the landscape here.

  3. robert87004 says:

    I was thinking of the tree that grabbed, was it Pippin, and Tom Bombadill had to rescue him, then I remembered it was a river not a lake, so no. Still, it would have been nice to run into Tom and Goldberry. Still, it’s a fine looking tree, sir. πŸ™‚

  4. On February 20th I stopped to take some pictures of Lake Wanaka, including two of a broken-down and largely submerged tree, but I don’t think it was the same one. Not till your post did I learn about the “famous” tree in Lake Wanaka. Thanks for the introduction to it.

    • I had to go back to my own post to remind me which photos they were. That tree is fabulously located on its own. The beautiful background is the icing on the cake. πŸ™‚

  5. Oh that tree, it doesn’t know how beautiful it is!!! πŸ˜€ And so alone too… makes me want to paint it! πŸ™‚ I love painting trees, but with the photography and various other things of life, I never seem to get back to the art. I hope you hear from National Geographic… tomorrow…. and why not?!! Your photography definitely deserves that kind of recognition. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

The Wood Dragon is listening...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.