2017's Top Places to Photograph in the Wanaka Region

Wanaka has to be one of the most photogenic locations in the world! We take a look back at 2017 and some of the favourite spots in Wanaka to snap that perfect pic. 


At number 1 #thatwanakatree or #thelonelytree is the most photographed place in Wanaka. And it's no wonder - this lone willow tree perched in the lake has the most beautiful backdrop from any angle. 

Best time to visit: Autumn has the most amazing colours, however anytime of the year is good.
Location: Situated in the corner of Lake Wanaka it's just a 10 minute walk from the town centre along the lakefront or a 2 minute drive with parking available. 
Tip: Try sunrise or sunset to get that moody image. 


This popular day hike is fast becoming a 'must do' in New Zealand. The symmetry of the lake, mountains and islands viewed from the top is hard to beat. 

Best time to visit:  Early spring is magical while there's still a dusting of white snow on the mountains around. Just be sure to take some extra layers and check the forecasts as the weather can change quickly up there. 
Location: To the west of Lake Wanaka towers the mountain range of Mt Alpha and Roy's Peak. A 7 minute drive or a good 1hr walk to get to the base. (Walk along the lakefront 'Waterfall Creek Track' as this is a short cut!) 
Tip: This is not an easy walk - please be prepared. Carry enough water, food, wear appropriate and footwear. Allow 6 hours return trip. 



For a range of beautiful photographic opportunities you can't bypass the Cardrona Valley

The Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand's oldest and most iconic hotels and located right on the highway - so perfect for a pit stop and that perfect selfie. Cardrona Alpine Resort attracts adventure seekers all year round and looks amazing through a lens in winter or summer. Don't forget about 'Bradrona' the infamous bra fence found at the entry to the Cardrona Distillery. Not only is this spot frequently photographed but valuable too - raising thousands of dollars for breast cancer research each year. 

Best time to visit: Winter in the Cardrona Valley is when you can capture that amazing snow shot
Location: 20 minutes out of Wanaka and 40 minutes from Queenstown
Tip: Drive carefully and check the road conditions  



The Blue Pools has some of the clearest and bluest water in the world. Located just past Makarora an hours drive from Wanaka the landscape is also dramatically different with lush green forests. 

Best time to visit:  All year round (although in July & August it's cold and the track can be icy) 
Location: One hour away from Wanaka on State highway 6, just past the Makarora village.  
Tip: It's best not to go after a rainfall as the water can be clouded and more brown than blue. 


Rob Roy Glacier deserves a spot on this list as there's just so many photogenic spots along this walk - the swing bridge, the luscious track, the river, huge rocks, epic mountain vistas, and of course the glacier. 

Best time to visit:  December- April access is restricted to the lower lookout when there is avalanche danger May to November 
Location: An hours drive into the Mt Aspiring National Park 
Tip: The morning light here is the best so leave early. The drive out can be tough on cars so get a shuttle or use a 4WD. Although the walk is just a half day, the drive is one hour each way so it pays to be prepared with enough food, water and extra clothing. 


Skydiving in Wanaka is not only a great way to get a view of the beautiful landscape but an adrenaline hit too! This may not for everybody but it sure seems to get its fair share of photos. 

Best time to visit: All year is good for jumping. Winter months mean it's colder but worth it for the snow capped mountains. 
Location: Wanaka Airport, 10 minutes from the town centre (they provide pick up service)
Tip: Get the camera option they provide, so you can keep a record of your jump and that way you can post and tag on social media!

Remember when you go exploring to tag your photos. We love to share these on our social pages and our website. 

@lakewanakanz, #lovewanaka, #skiwanaka #cravewanaka #sayidoinwanaka