A battle at the Wanaka Tree

The “Wanaka Tree” was one of the reasons I so desperately wanted to go to Wanaka in New Zealand’s South Island. I just need to say… I was surprised by how tiny it was! I guess when you’ve been looking at photos of a certain place, your mind builds a picture of what you think it should look like… weird. When we got to the bay, there were 2 very ‘pro’ looking photographers set up with their tripods and had even brought down laptops! (I have never done this, though I suppose if I was in the business of photography, this may be quite common? I don’t know)… I labelled them as ‘snooty photography types’ immediately. They had the best spots on the bay too! Imagine having to fight for a spot to shoot the Wanaka Tree!

The sunset was not promising, and although providing a pleasant pink above the mountains, was very underwhelming. I packed up my tripod and headed for the car and get this – the pros snickered to each other and said (loudly I might add!) “Isn’t it funny how amateurs always pack up when the sun is gone? Who would be dumb enough to go home and miss the afterglow?” It seemed my label was correct. With dinner plans looming, I wasn’t really keen to hang around in the cold for the afterglow which looked to be as underwhelming as the sky! I watched it from the restaurant instead and am happy to say that I was right…


The next morning, I set my alarm a little earlier than usual to make sure I would be guaranteed a good vantage point for the tree- but when I got down there at 5.45am, I was the only one there! I must admit I felt rather smug whilst remembering the pros of the night before (“Isn’t it funny how people say they’re professionals, but won’t get up at 5am to shoot the sunrise!? ha,ha.”) when the most beautiful pink hit the snow on the mountains. The sunrise, compared with the sunset of the night before, was magic.



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