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Tree Information x

Identifier: OR/1857
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Smillie, M.J.
Registration Category: Notable tree – International interest
General Notes:
What is reputedly New Zealand’s most photographed tree began as a branch of a crack willow tree on the shores of Lake Wānaka. That branch became part of a livestock fence along the shore, adjacent to Lake Wānaka Station, no later than 1939. The tree subsequently slowly grew in the shallows of the lake [1].

The tree gained wider fame after a photograph of the tree was the winner in the landscape category of the 2014 New Zealand Geographic photographic awards [2] and became known as #thatwanakatree on social media. With the fame came damage from trampling and vandalism, including an incident in 2020 where a low branch was removed with a chainsaw [3].

As a result of the posted requests to stay away from the tree, it was not directly measured for girth and spread – rather these were taken from scaled perpendicular images using the lasered height from the shoreline as a reference.

1. New Zealand's Famous "That Wanaka Tree", accessed January 2023
2. Dennis Radermacher Photograph, 2014
3. The Guardian, "Wanaka's famous Instagram tree attacked with a saw", 18 March 2020

Single Tree Details

Genus: Salix
Species: × fragilis
Common names: crack willow,
Given Name: That Wānaka Tree, The Lone Tree
Height: 7.50m
Height measurement method: Nikon Forestry Pro
Height Comments: Referenced against the lake level at the time - this does vary.
Girth: 113 cm
Girth measurement height: 1.3 m
Girth Comments: Derived from average of 2 scaled measurements from photographs, taken at 1.3 m, just below branching and perpendicular to leaning stem
Diameter: 36 cm
Crown Spread A: 5.80m
Crown Spread B: 6.60m
Avg. Crown Spread: 6.20m
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date: 1930
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 94 years
Tree Health Description: Less than ideal conditions has resulted in stunted growth for a willow, as well as loss of branches from deliberate vandalism.
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: Scrawny, small tree.
Champion Tree Score: 74
Local Protection Status: Yes
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0


Date Observer Action
22 Jan 2023 Smillie, M.J.


Lat/Long: -44.698310758824235 / 169.11756353235782
Location Name: Lake Wānaka
Address: Wānaka Mount Aspiring Road
City/Town: Wānaka
Region: Otago
Location Description: Just offshore from Wānaka Station Park in the southwest corner of Roys Bay, easily visible from Waterfall Creek track that runs along the lake shore.
Public Accessibility: Public Walkway
Local Authority: Queenstown Lakes District Council


Preview Credit Date
Matt Smillie 17 Jan 2023
Matt Smillie 17 Jan 2023
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